I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the hospital Marguerite says if she tells who attacked her, Bailey will be killed. Bailey tells Marguerite no one can kill him, and Marguerite trusts him enough to tell him that Mr. Freeman was the one that hurt her. Soon after, Mr. Freeman is arrested. Marguerite is called upon to testify in the trial, and the questions from Mr. Freeman’s attorney are aggressive and harsh. Marguerite lies and says that Mr. Freeman never touched her before the rape—she is too ashamed of the fact that she felt comforted by him holding her. She hates Mr. Freeman even more for making her lie.
Shame and guilt make Marguerite misrepresent Mr. Freeman’s abuse. Her religious upbringing has distorted her understanding of the heinous crime she has endured. The hatred she feels all the more strongly now toward Mr. Freeman shows how the abuse continues to harm Maya long after it occurs.
Themes
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Mr. Freeman is sentenced to one year in prison, but before his sentence even starts he is found beaten to death outside town. It is likely that Vivien’s brothers killed him. Meanwhile, Vivien also decides that Marguerite and Bailey would be better off in Stamps. Marguerite becomes withdrawn and sullen, and believes she is to blame for the fact that her mother has again decided to send her and Bailey away.
Mr. Freeman’s death does not put an end to Marguerite’s struggle. This time Marguerite blames her sullenness, not her ugliness, for making her mother send her away. She is not a cheerful enough daughter, and has (in her mind) failed to meet her mother’s expectations.
Themes
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