Through the imagery of birds in ‘I know why the caged birds sing’ by Maya Angelou the poet is trying to comment on the status of women in the society. Do you agree?
A literary piece is always open to different interpretations. Though Angelou’s poem originally indicated the distress of African Americans in comparison to their white counterparts, the imagery of birds may symbolize any oppressed section of the society.
In a patriarchal society women enjoy lesser freedom than men. In many societies, at least in Angelou’s time, women had no right to education and outdoor jobs. They lived within the house like the caged bird in the poem, having no freedom and no opportunity to realize their dreams. So, it won’t be wrong to interpret the caged bird as a reflection of the status of women in the society.