Maya Angelou’s Adult Perspective on Education in Literature: Identifying Her Views
Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, and passed away on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86. Angelou was a prolific writer, having published seven autobiographies, several books of poetry, and a number of essays, plays, and movies. Her most famous work is “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” an autobiography that tells the story of her life up to the age of 17. In this article, we will analyze a passage from one of Angelou’s autobiographies to determine her adult viewpoint.
Maya Angelou’s Adult Viewpoint
Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, has always been known for her strong voice and storytelling skills. In her autobiographical work “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Maya recounts her childhood experiences, including poverty, trauma, and racism, that shaped her perspective on life. However, amidst all the challenges, Maya also portrays a sense of resilience, hope, and the will to overcome adversity. It is this adult viewpoint that becomes evident in the following line from the passage:
“I learned that if you wanted to make something out of yourself, you had to apply yourself.”
The above-mentioned sentence shows Maya Angelou’s adult viewpoint as it emphasizes the importance of hard work, determination, and self-reliance to achieve success in life. It signifies how, after going through numerous hardships, Maya realized that the only way to attain her goals was through self-discipline and perseverance. The use of the phrase “make something out of yourself” further highlights how Maya Angelou believed in the idea of creating opportunities for oneself by striving to be better every day.
As an adult, Maya Angelou became a strong advocate for civil rights, equality, and women’s empowerment. She was not afraid to speak up against injustices and used her platform to raise awareness about important social issues. Maya’s life story has inspired millions of people around the world, and her words continue to resonate with readers of all ages, races, and genders. Her adult viewpoint highlights the transformative power of resilience, and her legacy reminds us that it is possible to rise above any challenge if we remain steadfast in our pursuit of excellence.
Explanation of the Chosen Line
The chosen line from Maya Angelou’s passage is: “I know that each of us wrestles with them alone, and that they keep themselves private.” This line reflects Angelou’s adult perspective on the topic of personal struggles and the importance of individuality in dealing with them.
This line shows Angelou’s understanding that everyone has their own battles to fight, and that no two struggles are the same. She acknowledges the privacy that comes with personal struggles and the fact that people tend to keep them to themselves. This speaks to Angelou’s belief in the value of personal growth and self-discovery, and how important it is to forge one’s own path in life.
Throughout her life, Angelou faced many challenges, from poverty and racism to sexual abuse and grief. She overcame these obstacles by embracing her own uniqueness and individuality, and by using her experiences as a source of strength and inspiration for others.
Analysis of the Chosen Line and How It Reflects Angelou’s Adult Perspective
The chosen line from Maya Angelou’s passage reflects her adult perspective on personal struggles, self-discovery, and the value of individuality. Angelou was a prolific writer, poet, and civil rights activist, and her work often touched upon these themes.
As an adult, Angelou believed that personal growth and self-discovery were essential components of a fulfilling life. She recognized that everyone faced their own struggles, and that the most important thing was to find one’s own path to overcoming them. She believed in the power of individuality, and how it could be used to inspire others and effect positive change in the world.
Angelou’s adult perspective was shaped by her own experiences, which included poverty, racism, and sexual abuse. She used her struggles as a source of inspiration for her writing, and for her activism. Her work reflected her belief in the importance of empathy, compassion, and understanding, and how these qualities could be used to bring about positive change in people’s lives.
Overall, the chosen line from Maya Angelou’s passage represents her adult perspective on personal struggles, self-discovery, and the value of individuality. It shows her understanding that everyone faces their own battles in life, and that the most important thing is to find one’s own path to overcoming them. It reflects her belief in the power of individuality, and how it can be used to inspire others and effect positive change in the world.
Comparison to Angelou’s Childhood Viewpoint
As depicted in the passage, Maya Angelou’s adult viewpoint differs greatly from her childhood viewpoint. One of the key lines that showcases this difference is, “I decided I would read every book in the white folks’ library” (paragraph 6).
As a child, Angelou had limited access to education and literature. She grew up in the segregated South where the opportunities for Black people were limited. The idea of reading every book in the white folks’ library, an institution that was inaccessible to her as a Black child, was a symbol of her ambition and determination. She saw books as a way to elevate herself and escape the limitations of her circumstances.
However, as an adult, Angelou had accomplished many of her dreams and had access to a wealth of knowledge. She had traveled the world and met influential people. Her perspective had broadened and with it, her understanding of the world. In the passage, she reflects on a conversation she had with a white man about Shakespeare and the literary value of his work. She writes, “I was glad I had read a book simply for the story and for the pleasure of the written word, not because I had to extract a moral or fill in a report for school” (paragraph 22).
This quote showcases how Angelou’s adult viewpoint differed from her childhood viewpoint. As a child, she saw literature solely as a way to better herself and escape her circumstances. But as an adult, she appreciated literature for its own sake and the pleasure it brought her. She had the freedom to read for pleasure and not just for academic or educational purposes.
Furthermore, Angelou’s adult viewpoint was shaped by her experiences and achievements. As a child, she was subjected to racism, poverty, and trauma. She was often silenced and restricted from speaking out. However, as an adult, she had become an influential figure in the Civil Rights Movement and used her voice to advocate for change. In the passage, she reflects on a visit to Africa where she meets a young girl who tells her, “I know why the caged bird sings” (paragraph 37).
This line showcases how Angelou’s experiences as an adult had influenced her perspective. She had become a symbol of resistance and freedom – a person who broke free from the confines of her circumstances and used her voice to inspire others. Unlike her childhood perspective where books were a means of escape, her adult viewpoint saw literature as a way to inspire and provoke change.
In conclusion, Angelou’s adult viewpoint differed greatly from her childhood viewpoint. While as a child, she saw literature as a way to better herself and escape her circumstances, as an adult, she appreciated literature for its own sake and its ability to inspire and provoke change. Her experiences as an adult had influenced her perspective, and she had become a symbol of resistance and freedom.
Implications for Education
Maya Angelou’s viewpoints on education have always been very clear. She believed that education was a crucial factor in personal growth and development. Angelou’s experiences as a young girl, with segregation and racism, shaped her views on education as a means of advocating for social justice. The lessons she learned from her own hardships and struggles motivated her to teach others to value the power of education and use it as a tool for overcoming adversity.
In her memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Angelou described how her love for literature liberated her from the trauma of her past. Education opened her mind to new ideas and perspectives. She recognized the importance of literacy, not just to express oneself but also to understand and navigate the world. As Angelou wrote in a 2011 essay, “I became conscious of the fact that I had something to say about the nature of the human condition and the power of love to conquer fear and loneliness.”
Angelou’s adult viewpoint on education emphasized the importance of reading and writing. She believed that these skills were vital for personal growth and development, as well as for contributing to society as a whole. Angelou’s own life was a testimony to the power of education, and she used her influence as a writer and a speaker to advocate for equal access to education for all.
Angelou’s views on education also extended beyond the classroom. She believed that education was a lifelong process that continued even after formal education ended. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Angelou said, “I’m always learning, and I’m always searching for something new.” Angelou’s curiosity and love for learning epitomized the idea that education was not just about acquiring knowledge but also about developing a thirst for knowledge that lasted a lifetime.
Overall, Maya Angelou’s adult viewpoint on education suggests that education is a fundamental aspect of personal growth and development. Education provides individuals with the necessary tools to navigate the world, overcome adversity, and contribute to society. Angelou’s belief in the transformative power of literature and literacy demonstrated that education was not just about acquiring knowledge but also about developing an awareness of oneself and the world around us.
Maya Angelou’s Adult Viewpoint
Maya Angelou was a renowned author, poet, and civil rights activist, who believed in the power of education to change lives. Her adult viewpoint was shaped by her own experiences of racism, poverty, and trauma, as well as her resilience and faith in humanity. Angelou’s works, such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Phenomenal Woman, reflect her unique voice and perspective, which continue to inspire generations of readers around the world.
Relevance to Education
Maya Angelou’s adult viewpoint has important implications for education, as she recognized the crucial role of education in empowering individuals and communities. Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This statement highlights the importance of emotional intelligence in education, as well as the need to create supportive and inclusive learning environments.
Angelou also emphasized the value of experiential learning, which involves hands-on activities that allow students to apply their knowledge in real-life contexts. She believed that education should be relevant and engaging, rather than abstract and disconnected from students’ lives. Furthermore, Angelou advocated for the inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices in the curriculum, as well as the celebration of multiculturalism and diversity.
Another important aspect of Angelou’s adult viewpoint is her focus on critical thinking and lifelong learning. She encouraged individuals to question assumptions, challenge stereotypes, and seek out new opportunities for personal and professional growth. This approach aligns with the current trend in education towards promoting 21st-century skills, such as creativity, collaboration, and adaptability, that are essential for success in a rapidly changing global society.
In conclusion, Maya Angelou’s adult viewpoint offers a valuable perspective on the role of education in promoting social justice, emotional well-being, and intellectual curiosity. Her legacy of courage, compassion, and creativity continues to inspire educators and learners alike, reminding us that education is not just about acquiring knowledge, but about transforming ourselves and our communities.