I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings poem's workbook Solution

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings poem's workbook Solution


I. Read the extract given below and answer the question that follows:

(i). Who is referred to as a free bird in the poem? Why?
Ans.  The white Americans are referred to as free birds in the poem because they are enjoying their freedom like free birds. Their lives are full of happiness and joy. They are given all types of privilege in American society

(ii). To what is the free bird compared in the first two lines of the extract? How is the action of the bird shown to be free and enjoyable?
Ans. In the first two lines of the extract, the free bird is compared to those who have favorable circumstances in life. The free bird leap on the back of the wind, float downstream, dips his wings in orange sun rays and claims the sky these action of the bird shown to be free and enjoyable

(iii) What implied comparison is made here?
AnsA free bird can fly where they will.... without limitations, as opposed to the caged bird that cannot fly at all. A free bird flies and enjoys flying with the wind. a caged bird does not have any freedom and is imprisoned between the bars.

(iv) Explain what is meant by "the orange sun rays"?
Ans. It means the reflection of the free and lively atmosphere that the bird lives in. The orange color symbolizes the freedom and happiness enjoyed by the free birds.

(v) How does the free bird dare to claim the sky? Whom does the free bird represent in the poem? Why?
Ans. The free bird flies high with his wings spread. He floats along with the currents of the wind. It seems as if the whole sky belongs to him. The free bird represents the white Americans who also enjoyed their freedom in American society.
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II. Read the extract given below and answer the question that follows:



(i)Why does this stanza in the extract begin with, "But"?
Ans. The poet uses "But" at the beginning of the stanza to highlight the plight of caged birds. The caged bird is deprived of his freedom. He is captivated in a narrow cage. He does not enjoy his freedom like a Freebird.

(ii)  Why do you think the cage is "narrow"? What is meant by "his bars of rage"?
Ans. There are several restrictions imposed on the life of the caged bird, in the cage his vision is limited, his wings are clipped that is why the poet says the cage to be "narrow". The caged bird is enslaved so he is in anger and frustration that is the bar of rage.

(iii) Why does a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bar of rage?
Ans. A bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through the bar of rage because the bird can almost never see through the bars. But due to captivity, his vision is limited. He is not as free as free birds.

(iv) Give the meaning and significance of the following lines:
         his wings are clipped and
         his feet are tied
         so he opens his throat to sing.

Ans. The wings of the caged bird ar clipped. His feet are tied. He has no other way except to open his throat and to sing for his freedom. It signifies the flight of the African Americans who were subjected to various kinds of restrictions and were not given equal status.

(v)  whom does the port indirectly refer to while mentioning of the free and the caged bird? why?

Ans. While mentioning to the free bird the poet refers to the white American and while mentioning the caged bird she refers to African Americans because African Americans were not given equal status and freedom as the white due to the dark color of their skin.


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III. Read the extract given below and answer the question that follows:


(i) Under what circumstances does the caged bird sing? what does it tell us about his condition?
Ans. The caged bird is enslaved. His wings are clipped and his feet are tied. He can do nothing except to open his throat and to sings for his freedom. His condition is very pitiable. He does not enjoy his freedom like the free bird does.


(ii) Why does the caged bird sing of "things unknown"?
Ans. The caged bird is singing for his freedom but he does not know if he would get the freedom and when this is the "things unknown" of which the caged bird sings.

(iii) What is meant by" fearful trill "? Why is it said to be fearful?
Ans Fearful trill means the quivering in the voice of the birds due to the fear. It is fearful, the bird is in the fear of being exploited and oppressed by the privileged section of the society.


(iv) What song is he singing? Why? 
Ans.  The bird is singing of his freedom because there is no other way by which he can raise his demands for freedom.

(v)  Why is his singing heard on a distance hill? what does this signify with reference to the poet's life?
Ans. The bird refused to stop his demand for freedom so now his demand is heard at the far off places. The poet herself belongs to the African American community. She was also subjected to restriction, oppression, and physical assault. She found a way through the poetry to raise her demand for freedom.  
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IV. Read the extract given below and answer the question that follows:

(i) What is meant by "another breeze"? why does the free bird think of another breeze?
Ans. " Another breeze", here means a fresh gush of wind or freedom. The free bird wants to fly higher with another gush of wind because his movement is unrestricted, unlike the caged bird. He enjoyed his freedom.

(ii) What is the "grave of dreams"? Why does a caged bird stand on the grave of dreams?
Ans. The grave which is symbolic of death shows that the caged bird has no scope in the life of pursuing its dreams. The bird has no freedom, its feet are tied, wings are clipped, its dreams are unachievable, it has given up on the dream of flying freely, its dreams are now ‘dead’…hence, it stands on its dead dreams now.

(iii) What metaphorical implications does the following lines have?
       his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
       so he opens his throat to sing
Ans. The caged bird is a metaphor for the African-Americans who faced discrimination, prejudices, and slavish treatment during apartheid. Every sort of restrictions was imposed on them. They were barred from walking in areas dominated by white people. Thus they enjoyed neither freedom nor equality. They were not allowed to even gather at a place, so they wrote poems and other ways of writing to raise their demand for freedom.

iv) What is the significance of the following expressions, fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn?
Ans.  'Fat worms' signifies all the opportunities that a free bird has. It can find its food at every door represented by 'dawn bright lawn' which is intensive imagery showing all the endless possibilities of a free bird. The following expression also suggests the privileges given to white Americans. In the same way, as a free bird, the white Americans were given a superior status in society.

v) On the basis of the above extract, bring out the main conflict in the poem.

Ans. The theme of freedom versus enslavement run throughout the poem. Freedom is symbolized through the unrestricted movement of the free bird whereas the enslavement is symbolized by the caged bird whose wings are clipped and feet are tied. The poem articulates the poet's pent up emotions against racial discrimination and slaves in America. The caged bird represents the community that was prevented from social, religious, and cultural.

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