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Word Count: 872
Race and appearance In the world Maya grows up in beauty is narrowly defined as being white with blond hair and blue eyes Maya believes as a child that being black means being ugly and thinks of her appearance as a black ugly dream that she will wake out of Romance vs reality Seen in the lives of the cotton pickers of Stamps and of Maya too they become idealistic and happy only to be cut down by the harshness of their lives Young Maya often only thinks of the beauty and goodness of things but even her reveries are interrupted as a harder reality breaks up illusions Prejudice Whether prejudice is a result of race or appearance it definitely has an effect on the lives of Maya and her family and on Uncle Willie doubly Maya and her friends and relatives will always be subject to prejudice merely because they are black Uncle Willie has to endure even more hardship since people are also wary of him since he is crippled Prejudice is a difficult thing to overcome and Maya must battle it in order to build her self-esteem Influence of childhood Angelou shows how the knowledge and experience gained from childhood affects the rest of life as the events she portrays in the book however small or seemingly insignificant shape her perceptions later Segregation In Stamps segregation means social economic and political inferiority for the black citizens of the town The policies of segregation basically set the boundaries on their lives assuring that they will never be able to make ends meet or gain well-paying jobs or be able to mix with white people as equals when they are in the town Family Ties Very important to Maya growing up though not every family bond yields the affection she needs Her relationship with Bailey is probably the most vital family tie in her life getting her through her childhood the degrees of motherly
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