Who are referred to as free bird and caged bird in the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”? Why?

QuestionsWho are referred to as free bird and caged bird in the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”? Why?
Abul Basar asked 3 years ago

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?

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2 Answers
Sundeep Kumar Pati answered 2 years ago

The White Americans are referred as free bird in the poem.They are called so as they have right, power and justice to achieve every freedom successfully as compared to the Black Africans. They claim the biggest right and freedom also to themselves so except them nobody can attain that.


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Jayanta Kumar Maity Staff answered 2 years ago

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 African-American 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.


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