Compare and Contrast Essay

Topics: Writing, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou Pages: 3 (866 words) Published: March 19, 2014

Compare and Contrast: “Fish Cheeks” and “Caged Bird”

Rachael Becker

Assignment 5

Nicole Yurchak


The differences between a narrative and a descriptive essay determine the way in which the reader receives the story. The purpose of each is still very clear, to connect to the reader using story telling. In order for the reader to receive the story as intended, the author must create a clear picture of; events, settings, and purpose. In both pieces that I read, “Fish Cheeks” and “Caged Bird”, both writers were able to do this- each in their own way. The first difference between Fish Cheeks and Caged Birds is the format of the literature. Amy Tan in Fish Cheeks chose to write a short descriptive essay (Tan, 2013). While Maya Angelou wrote in Caged Bird, a narrative in a poem format (Angelou, 1983). Each individual artist had a certain way in which, they wanted to express a significant event that they have learned throughout their life. I felt that it was easier to relate to Amy Tans message because she had taken her story from a past personal experience. I do feel that Caged Bird was a very relevant and emotional topic as well. But, I feel that Amy was able to connect more with her audience because of the method in which she chose to write her story. Her words were very descriptive, and not vague at all. Being able to connect emotionally to your audience and getting then to relate to your story, is always a purpose of the writers written work.

The second difference between “Fish Cheeks” and “Caged Birds” is the message that was instilled in the writing. Both pieces had a different message that the reader was supposed to receive after the conclusion. After reading “Caged Birds” it is clear that Maya is using birds to symbolize the struggle that unfree humans deal with, as well. She starts off in the beginning elaborating on the harsh reality that caged birds face-...

References: Angelou, M. (1983). Caged bird. Retrieved from
Tan, A. (2013). Fish cheeks. Retrieved from
Connell, C. M., & Sole, K. (2013). Essentials of college writing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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