What difference does the poet Maya Angelou show between a free bird and a caged bird in her poem ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’?
Or, Compare the life of a free bird to that of the caged bird.
Maya Angelou’s poem ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ describes the state of two birds, where one is free and ‘floats’ and ‘dares to claim the sky’, while the other is caged in his ‘bars of rage’.
The first and the fourth stanza shows the delight of the free bird experiencing freedom, whereas the rest of the stanzas concentrate on the plight of the caged bird. Angelou puts greater emphasis on the lamentable state of the caged bird, and contrasts this with that of the free bird.
As the poet depicts in the poem, the free bird floats on the back of the wind, dips his wings in the orange sun rays and claims the sky as his own. He thinks of another breeze through the trees and dreams of good eatables like fat worms waiting on bright lawn. He lives in a colourful, bright and dreamy world.
On the other hand, the caged bird walks sadly inside his narrow cage and tries hard to see through the bars of his cage. His wings are clipped and feet are tied. He lets out his ‘nightmare scream’ to express his agony, anger and fear. Sometimes, the caged bird opens his throat to sing. He sings of freedom and hope.