I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

1. What Does Marguerite observe about the cotton pickers?
She notices that their attitudes depend on the time of day. She says in the morning they are full of life and in the evening they are tired out and dismal from all the work.

2. Why do white people seem un-real to Marguerite?
She said white people 's feet were too small, and their skin was see-through, and they walked on their heels, not on the balls of their feet.

3. Explain how their education in Stamps prepared Marguerite and Bailey. How is school different in St. Louis from the one they attended in Stamps?
Marguerite and Bailey were prepared for school because of their education in Stamps. They learned arithmetic through working in their store and they said they read so much in Stamps because there was nothing else to do. They also said the schools were different because of their teachers.The teachers in Stamps, they said, were very formal they came imported from a Negro College in Arkansas. The teachers in St. Louis were very siddity they were very strict and had the same characteristics that white folk had.
The walked with their knees together and their lips tight.

4. How does Ritie feel about Mr. Freeman's death?
She said she felt guilty and had forfeited her place in heaven. She said she was pure evil,because she had lied about him in court and that this lie caused his death.

5. Why is Ritie so offended that she wants to quit working for Mrs. Cullinan? How does she get out of her job?
Mrs. Cullinan calls Ritie not by her given name, Marguerite, but by the name of Mary, which annoys Ritie. She is fired after she intentionally breaks some of Mrs. Cullinan's valuable family dishes.

6. Tell what happens at Ritie's eighth grade graduation.
Ritie is angered that white's only think that Negroes are only good for being athletes, maids, and other small jobs. She hates how blacks are supressed.

7. How is Miss Kirwin different from Ritie's other teachers?
Ritie says Miss Kirwin was in love with information that she really wanted to share her knowledge. She also addressed the students as "ladies and gentlemen."

8. How has Bailey changed while Ritie was gone?
Ritie's relationship with Bailey is weakening. Bailey has started to hang out with other groups. He does not talk to Ritie as much as they used to.

9. How does Ritie respond to the obstacles she encounters when she wants to get a job?
She is rejected because she is a Negro. She is persistent though. She keeps going back to the office to apply.
She succeeds in becoming the first female Negro trolley conductorette in San Francisco.

10. How does Ritie handle her pregnancy?
She does not share with anyone, but her brother that she is pregnant. She continues to work and go to school while concealing her pregnancy.

Essay question:
In the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Marguerite was influenced by a great deal of characters. One of the biggest influences was her brother, Bailey. On p. 114 she quoted "I would be the major loser if Bailey were to turn up dead, for he was all I had, if none all i had." They were only one year apart in age. Whenever they moved (to St. Louis, Los Angeles), they moved together. They shared many of the same interests, such as reading and playing games. Ritie would often go to Bailey for advice when she needed it. Bailey was there to comfort Ritie in the hospital after she had been raped. Momma was also a big influence in Ritie's life. She took care of most of Ritie's needs. Momma was a positive role model and Ritie speaks proudly and lovingly about her. She thought of her grandmother as all powerful. An example of this is when Momma takes Ritie to the dentist and demands that he help her. Ritie imagines an encounter between the two when he refuses to treat her and in this encounter Momma is the victor. She is also amazed at how Momma adjusts to Los Angeles after having spent her entire life in Stamps, Arkansas. Another powerful figure in Ritie's life was Mother. She always described her as beautiful and she loved the way she laughed freely. Her mother had a lot