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The Pursuit towards happiness:The theme of overcoming adversity as portrayed in Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsand Kamara and McClelland’s The Bite of the MangoAyo OgunlajaLopesENG 3U12016-12-19
According to Roman poet Horace, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which inprosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” This statement by Horace suggesting thatadversity helps build a better character that would not have been built if not in that circumstance;remains true and can be supported with evidence from the memoir, I Know Why the Caged BirdSingsby Maya Angelou and the non-fiction story; The Bite of the Mangoby Mariatu Kamara. IKnow Why the Caged Bird Singsis an autobiographical narrative story that demonstrates howher love for literature and her perseverance played a significant role in overcoming racism andagony. The Bite of the Mangoby Mariatu Kamara is about Mariatu Kamara; a young SierraLeonean that has suffered more trauma than most adults have encountered. Outcomes of childabandonment and neglect can create emotionally starved children, who long to find love and fillthe emptiness inside them. In both books, the protagonist is desensitized to emotion because ofthe lack of care they receive. Nadir is the lowest point in a situation or life. When Maya andMariatu both reach their lowest point in life they seclude themselves from those who ignorethem. It is at that point that one has to make a decision of allowing their selves to vacation in thatstate or to rise above their difficulties. People can reach a point in life where they can no longerdeal with the effects of their struggle. At the end of both books, the main characters are able tomake the choice of wallowing in their sorrows or overcoming their problems. When confrontedwith adversity, individuals are forced to deal with the circumstances in the best way they knowhow. Maya and Mariatu endure neglect; whereby, it brings them to their lowest point where theyare able to prevail. Neglect can lead to a loss of acceptance; to not feel welcome, and this sense of rejectioncan follow an individual throughout their life and even affect the relationships they build withother people. In the memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsby Maya Angelou is constantly
faced with abandonment and neglect. Maya's autobiography opens with Maya and her brothertraveling alone with a tag that says “To whom it may concern”. (Angelou 2) They have been sentaway to live with their grandmother after their parents’ divorce. Maya's initial reaction is topretend that her parents are dead. “I couldn't believe that our mother would laugh and eat orangesin the sunshine without her children".(19) On Christmas Day the kids are prompt to the fact thattheir parents are not dead since they have received presents from them. Maya wonders what shehad done wrong. The effect of her parent's abandonment wound her sense of belonging resulting