Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by amholl, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. amholl macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2004
    I have to write this essay on the theme of survival for English. It is two pages. My teacher has prompt questions to consider for the essay. They are How do traditional values influence her? How does Maya's strength influence her? How do I write a paper about this. I already know how I can answer these particular questions, but how would I go about writing a paper about a theme? All it says is that the Theme of Survival is the topic, and I don't know if it should be analytical or something like that or if there is another way to do this. All help is appriciated.
  2. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    An amazing poem, as are many by Maya Angelou. I read it again to try to give you some sort of idea of where to start but I'm not sure I can. Not for the sake of an essay.
    Writing an essay in the ways it seems your teacher wants almost cheapens the whole thing. I'd say go ahead and be analytical and wordy, it's clearly what she(?) wants.
    Not knowing a lot about Maya personally but know her writing, I can guess that she had a horrible life in younger years and spun all that hell into gold. It's brilliant.
    Even if you haven't had a lifetime of major issues of your own, everyone can relate to having a difficult time, wanting something better and hopefully moving on. Touch on those issues, I doubt you can go wrong.
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    What your teacher really wants to know is if you can respond to a prompt (do the assignment), create a coherent argument (make a point), and support it with evidence (use specific examples from the poem).

    You might start by trying to find specific phrases in the poem that answer her writing prompts. Then see if you can find a common thread, something that helps you make a coherent point about survival. When you write your essay, make sure you use those specific examples and support your argument.

    Don't worry about whether the assignment is a good or a bad one -- what you really need to do is impress your teacher with your writing and analytical skills.

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