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i know why the caged bird sings character analysis

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i know why the caged bird sings character analysis
Text Analysis: Characterization in Autobiography
When describing an important individual they have known, writers of autobiography often make use of the same methods of characterization as fiction writers do. These methods are listed in the following chart.
Directions: In the chart, write examples of each method of characterization Angelou used to reveal Mrs. Flowers’s personality traits. Then answer the question that follows.
Methods of Characterization

Examples

Description of a person’s physical appearance

“She was thin without the taut look of wiry people.” (line 7)

Examples of the person’s speech, thoughts, or feelings. The speech, thoughts, or feelings of other people The narrator’s comments about the person

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". . . she smiled often. A slow widening of her thin black lips to show even, small white teeth . . . ”
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper meaning.” (lines 123–124)
“Another Negro woman of her health and age would have been expected to carry the paper sacks home in one hand, but
Momma said, ‘Sister Flowers, I’ll send Bailey up to your house with these things.’”
(lines 61–63)
“She appealed to me because she was like people I had never met personally.” (line
46)

Unit 2
Grade 9

83

Reading Skill: Analyze Perspectives
Though autobiographies are written in first-person point of view, they often reflect two different perspectives. • the perspective of the writer at the time he or she experienced the events
• the perspective of the writer looking back on the events years later.

Directions: you read the selection, use the chart to record Angelou’s observations about Mrs. Flowers from both her childhood and adult perspectives. An example has been done for you.
Observations about Mrs. Flowers
Child’s Viewpoint
Adult’s Viewpoint
“Why on earth did she insist on calling her “She was one of the few gentlewomen I
Sister Flowers? Shame made me want to have ever known, and has remained hide my face.” (lines 25–26) throughout my life the measure of what a human being can be.” (lines 18–19)
“Why on earth did she insist on calling her
Sister Flowers? Shame made me want to hide my face.” (lines 25–26)

“She was one of the few gentlewomen I have ever known, and has remained throughout my life the measure of what a human being can be.” (lines 18–19)

“She appealed to me because she was like people I had never met personally. Like women in English novels . . . ” (lines 46–47)

“I don’t think I ever saw Mrs. Flowers laugh, but she smiled often.” (line 14)

“It would be fitting if I got a sunstroke and died before they came outside. Just dropped dead on the slanting porch.” (lines
105–106)

“It didn’t occur to me for many years that they were as alike as sisters, separated only by formal education.” (lines 29–30)

“That was a totally new idea to me and I would need to think about it.” (lines 120–
121)

“I have tried often to search behind the sophistication of years for the enchantment
I so easily found in those gifts.” (lines 183–
184)

78 Unit 2
Grade 9

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