"I Know Why the Bird Sing" essay
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One of the topics illustrated in the fifth chapter is “moral upbringing”. Maya’s life is greatly influenced by Momma (her grandmother), who comes out as wise, loving, very understanding and kind person that holds no grudges. Therefore, she tries to teach Maya and Bailey the virtues of goodness, morality and pride. She also teaches them not to be ashamed of their race (black) and class (poor). When three white girls (Miz Ruth, Miz Helen and Miz Eloise) make fun of Momma, Maya becomes indignant. However, her grandmother disapproves of this as she feels that the girls are probably ignorant. Unlike her grandchild, she forgives them. Maya is certainly touched by her gesture and piety, which she feels make her grandmother beautiful. Momma has a heart big enough to accommodate even smaller ones, regardless of color and behavior. Maya draws on this. Her reactions to the taunts of the white girls certainly show a good role model, not only to Maya and Bailey but to all people (TheBestNotes).
Chapter six illustrates hypocrisy, especially on the part of people who should be teaching children and youth good morals. This is exemplified by Reverend Thomas, who always came to their house to spend a Saturday night. He is obese and ugly and he insists on hugging Bailey, rather than shaking his hand. The children hated him for this. When he arrived, the children were sent away so that the adults could ‘talk’. However, Bailey, a very mischievous young man, does not go away completely. He remained to eavesdrop on that ‘conversation’. However, it becomes clear that actually the Reverend was having sexual relations. Hypocrisy can also be seen in Sister Monroe. During the sermon at the church, she runs to the pulpit and grabs Reverend Thomas. The two of them have a scuffle, and the reverend ends up losing his dentures. How can a reverend and a sister behave like this in front of the congregation, and especially the young people that need to be properly guided? Thomas was indeed an ungodly character (TheBestNotes).
Chapter seven is dedicated to Momma, her life and her struggles. This chapter illustrates the need to fight odds so as to be successful. Momma was a black woman living among the majority whites in a very racial society. However, this does not deter her. For instance, she calls herself Mrs. Henderson much to the disbelief of the whites who thought that a black woman did not warrant such a title. Indeed, the judge and the bailiff are surprised by this title during her court appearance. Nevertheless, Momma was not to be bogged down by this. This attitude makes her a hero, as from this instant she is called ‘Mrs.’ even by the whites. This earned her respect from the other blacks. This demonstrates the importance of facing challenges head-on instead of avoiding them. There is simply no mountain too high to climb (TheBestNotes).
Chapter eight illustrates the importance of parenting. Maya and Bailey were being brought up by their grandmother. Despite the hardships they were facing, she ensured that they never went hungry. She also teaches them the essential survival strategies at these hard times. As a result, Maya and Bailey had a very strong connection to her. Therefore, when their parents sent them Christmas gifts, they were upset. They had all along believed that their parents had died. The discovery that both their father and mother were still alive angered them. Maya even felt guilty that she must have really offended them for them to abandon her. This clearly demonstrates the attachment that children and the youth have to their families and the effects it has on them when they are not taken care of. Parents play a big role in the development of their children; therefore, they should not escape from their parenting duties (TheBestNotes).
Chapter nine is about betrayal. While Momma, Maya and Bailey were living under poverty, they could not be helped by their father who was wealthy; he had a car, nice clothes and was probably very affluent. Maya is even intimidated by her own father. She started to act as if she was not his child. Her father encouraged this by poking fun at her. Maya feels betrayed by her own father and wishes he just goes away. At his departure, she was reluctant to leave with him. Maya’s mother was prettier than they had ever imagined, unlike her children. This simply demonstrates her betrayal as she only thought about herself. Finally, the two children felt betrayed when their father abandoned them even before that had settled into their new lives. This emphasizes the fact that their parents really did not care about them. Their right to spend time with their parents was simply ignored. This is betrayal (TheBestNotes).