I Know Why The Caged Bird Cannot Read Summary

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“I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read” Critic and editor, Francine Prose in her argumentative essay “I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read” strives to encourage high schools to give more difficult books to students so they can learn and grow. “Given the dreariness with which literature is taught in many American classrooms, it seems miraculous that any sentient teenager would view reading as a source of pleasure”(Prose 89). Prose embraces an abrasive attitude towards her topic in order to introduce her purpose, and she uses ethos and logos to convey her message. Prose's essay begins with her giving background knowledge about herself to her audience. By being a parent, as well as a teacher this develops a sense of credibility and allows her audience to believe what she has to say. “...I find myself, each September, increasingly appalled by the dismal lists of texts that my sons are doomed to…show more content…
She states multiple times that the children within the education system are being cheated every day because they are not being forced to read more difficult books. “Such benefits are denied to the young reader exposed only to books with banal, simple-minded moral equations as well as to the student encouraged to come up with reductive, wrong-headed readings of mulitlayered texts” (Prose 97). The reader can blatantly see that Prose thinks negatively of the high school curriculum that today's students face. It seems clear that Prose does not want to hide her personal view or feelings, so she starts her essay out in a way that we do not have to read between the lines to get a sense of how she feels about what she is writing. She uses more emotional language when she says, "The intense loyalty adults harbor for books first encountered in youth is one probable reason for the otherwise baffling longevity of vintage mediocre novels, books that teachers may themselves have read in adolescence"(Prose

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