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The Caged Bird Controversy The novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the life story of Maya Angelou as she struggles through life in the South Published in 1969 the novel has received critical acclaim since 1970 and spent three years as a number one best seller on the New York Times Best Seller List Caged Bird Essay Although this book has a best seller it was the ninth most frequently challenged book in American high schools Caged Bird Essay and has been a censorship target for years Many school libraries have banned I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings because numerous parents believe that the book is vulgar poor literature and that it is inappropriate for use in public schools for young people of any age Others believe that I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings might do what parents fear most raise important issues while leaving the young reader no avenue to discover his or her relationship to those ideas What do people mean by vulgar The story consists of Angelous experiences when she was growing up which includes graphic scenarios For example when she described her rape by her mothers boyfriend at the age of eight In Southlake Texas high schools I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was banned because of the pornographic description of her rape Caged Bird Essay Other schools have chosen not to ban the book by just deleting the rape chapters The use of language in the scene of Angelous rape is hardly explicit yet it does deal with a sensitive issue and evoke a strong emotional response Angelous thoughts of homosexuality became another issue and in any case a book that discusses homosexuality is presumed controversial As she begins puberty confusion sets in and the possibility of homosexuality scares her Caged Bird Essay Angelou was not exactly sure what a lesbian was but she felt that her low voice masculine gait convinced
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