Books and Movies Reviews

Influential Identity

Living in a prejudiced country, moving back and forth from slow country life; Arkansas, to a fast pace society; St. Louis, being pregnant at 16 are some of the many problems Maya faced with as an African American teenager. The book, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is an autobiography, which portrays Maya's life as an African American teenager and gives us an insight on southern life during the 1930's. The book is a recollection of her childhood years with Bailey, grandmother Henderson "momma", and her friend Louise Kendrick and how their personalities influenced her to beget her own identity.
Thefirst of the three characters is Louis Kendrick. Louis was Maya’sfirst friend. Maya describes her as:
“Her face, which was long and dark chocolate brown, had a thin sheet of sadness over it, as light but as permanent as the viewing gauze on a coffin. And her eyes, which I thought her best feature, shifted quickly as if what they sought had just a second before eluded her. She had come near and the spotted light through the trees fell on her face. I had never noticed before, but she looked exactly like Bailey. Her hair was “good” –more straight than kinky — and her features had the regularity of objects placed by a careful hand”. (pg.140)
Louis, according to Maya;s description is the total opposite of Maya. When Maya and Louisfirst meet each other they are shy, however as they get to know each other they became best friends. She says “In daring to challenge the unknown with me, she became myfirst friend” (page 142). Louis influenced Maya greatly as she gave her a chance to be a girl. On page 142 Maya says:
” Since all the other children spoke Pig Latin, we were superior because Tut was hard to speak and even hard to understand. At last I began to comprehend what girls giggled about. Louise would rattle a few sentences to me in the unintelligible Tu