Who are referred to as free bird and caged bird in the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou? Why?
Or, Whom does the poet indirectly refer to while mentioning of the caged bird and the free bird?
In the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, the free bird referred to is the White American community while the ‘caged bird’ refers to the African Americans.
Through the portrayal of the free bird in the poem Angelou essentially indicates to the privileges that the White Americans enjoyed. The free bird “dares to claim the sky” and even “names the sky his own”. This signifies how the White people could do whatever they wished to. They even made rules according to their will and devoid the tribal people of their basic rights, as indicated through the portrayal of the caged bird. Angelou, with the metaphor of birds, represents the inequality of justice seen in the society of her time which differentiates between the African-American community and its White American counterpart.