Caged Bird - Analysis

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Caged Bird - Analysis da Mind Map: Caged Bird - Analysis

1. Stanza 1

1.1. Leaps on the back of the wind

1.2. Floats downstream till the current ends

1.3. Dips his wing in the orange sun rays

1.3.1. Shows how the free bird is enjoying himself and exploring the wide world around him.

1.4. Dares to claim the sky

2. Stanza 2

2.1. Stalks down his narrow cage

2.2. Can seldom see through his bars of rage

2.2.1. Can hardly see through the tight bars of his cage

2.2.1.1. This point metaphorically signifies the limitations put on the African-American society who were forced to live a miserable life in complete contrast to their white counterparts.

2.2.2. The usage of the noun 'rage' to describe the bars also shows the emotional sufferings of the 'caged bird'.

2.2.2.1. This shows how being limited by the bars changes the bird's emotions and changes how the bird feels, effectively binding the limits of the cage and the feelings those limits inspires in the bird.

2.3. His wings are clipped

2.3.1. Limited mobility

2.4. His feet are tired

2.4.1. Harsh living conditions

2.5. So he opens his throat to sing

2.5.1. Sudden change in idea and opposes the points stated earlier in the stanza.

2.5.1.1. However, this shows how the bird is still hopeful and trying to ignore the harsh conditions it was put into through singing.

2.5.1.1.1. This also links with how abolitionist Frederick Douglass once said 'Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy.'

3. Stanza 3

3.1. Sings with a fearful trill

3.1.1. Shows the uncertainty which is in the bird's head of whether he will be free one day.

3.1.2. Trill meaning a tune with vibratory sounds of fast alterations of notes.

3.2. Of things unknown but longed for still

3.2.1. This shows the determination and strong will the bird has for obtaining freedom one day.

3.3. His tune is heard on the distant hill

3.3.1. This presents a small sense of hope for the bird and shows that there is someone listening to the bird's cry for freedom in the form of his song.

4. Stanza 4

4.1. Thinks of another breeze, sighing forests and fat worms

4.1.1. All of the things the caged bird has never experienced since he is trapped in a closed cage.

4.1.1.1. This shows the strong contrast between the lives of a white American and an African-American and how the level of freedom each race differs despite both being American citizens.

4.1.2. All of which are things he loves.

4.2. Names the sky his own

4.2.1. Shows his freedom and how he doesn't have to share any of the things he loves with anyone else.

4.2.2. Shows the authority the bird has over its freedom and the world around it

5. Stanza 5

5.1. Stands on the grave of dreams

5.1.1. It shows how its dreams and aspirations are mostly destroyed and almost literally unachievable to the hopeful bird.

5.2. His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

5.2.1. Shows the bird's inner rage and how it is eager to get out to the outer world.

5.3. His wings are clipped and his feet are tied

5.3.1. This repetition helps emphasise the limits and restrains put on the caged bird.

5.3.1.1. Which then metaphorically depict the lives of African-Americans living in America where they are stripped of most of their methods of gaining freedom.

6. Stanza 6

6.1. Incorporation of repetition and ambiguity

7. Structure

7.1. Effective usage of repetition and contrast throughout the poem to provide a clear distinction between the life of the caged bird and the life of the free bird.

7.1.1. However, there is a dominating

7.2. The poem does not have any rhyme scheme nor does it have a constant tempo throughout, this is also possibly one of the author's decisions to explicitly emphasise the injustice of the caged bird