AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 1. February   2021                             Pp.177-186

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Maya Angelou’s Battle with Alienation in I know Why the Caged Bird Sings 

Qudsia Zaini
English Language Center
College of Science for Girls, Abha
Department of English, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia
Correspondent Author: 

  Mohsin Hasan Khan
Department of English
Faculty of Arts, Greiger Campus. King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia


Received: 8/20/2020               Accepted: 1/17/2021              Published:  2/24/2021  


The themes of the existential crisis have been central in taking up their work in different domains of human experience and exhibit the force of departure from the so-called standardized norms and values of a society. These themes have been taken up by many authors of African American origin. This paper attempts to represent and explain the theme of alienation through an in-depth analysis of Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The crisis of identity, gender, consciousness, and everything seemingly comes to question in the powerful narratives of these kinds of writings. One such African American author is Maya Angelou. She is one of those who take these themes with great force and tries to free herself from the shackles of the so-called canonized versions of human values and seeks to explore a world in which she recreates an establishment of her new perspectives and freedom of humanity. The paper concludes by showing the struggles for recognition and self-awareness and developing onto a stronger woman pushed by her feeling of alienation.
Keywords: Alienation, autobiography, freedom, self, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Cite as: Zaini, Q., &  Khan, M. H. (2021). Maya Angelou’s Battle with Alienation in I know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (1) 177-186.


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Received: 8/20/2020  
Accepted: 1/17/2021  
Published: 2/24/2021

Qudsia Zaini is a lecturer at King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia. She has a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English Literature, and a Bachelor of Education in English. All the degrees were awarded by Aligarh Muslim University, India. Her fields of interest are Postcolonial Literature, Literary Criticism and Theory, Women’s Literature, and Teaching of English. Orcid ID:

Mohsin Hassan Khan obtained his Ph.D. from Aligarh Muslim University, India. He has been working as an Assistant Professor at King Khalid University Abha, Saudi Arabia. His research interests include Postcolonial Literature, Indian Writing in English, and Literary Theory. Orcid id: