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Meghan McDonald Mr DSouza ENG-4A1 Tuesday November 14th 2000 Back Roads vs I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Often in life people lead very different lives however more often then not we all have problems and struggles The way we deal with these problems is what makes us survive and determines our success in life In Tawni ODells novel Back Roads the lead character Harley is a teen growing up in Pennsylvania being forced to raise his 3 unruly sibling sisters at the age of 20 Whereas in Maya Angelous novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings the lead character Maya is a Negro-teen growing up in the south and has been passed around from family member to family member in different states The books share similarities and differences in relation to characters setting and the plot Harley and Maya lead very different lives but are similar people Harley Altmyer suffers a loss of innocence when his mother goes to jail for killing his very abusive-alcoholic father Maya also suffers a loss of innocence when he stepfather molests her and raped her Although these are two different scenarios each character suffers a loss of innocence and is forced to make juristic life changes as a direct cause Due to Harleys family life people often judge him and his family based on the wrong actions of his parents Maya is a black teenage girl growing up in the south during the 1930s and is subject to several confrontations as a cause of this Even though the characters suffer two very different stereotypes they both in fact suffer from prejudice Harley being unable to deal with his problems turns to a much older woman and begins a sexual relationship with her Maya also turns to sexual intercourse to ease her problems and then becomes pregnant Both characters are longing for a place in the world and turn to sex to find love
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