In both “Sympathy” and “Caged Bird,” the authors purposefully use the enclosed bird’s sorrowful song as a representation of African Americans’ only remaining tool against various restrictions, explaining the theme about African American’s battle for deserved advantages. In “Sympathy,” the captured bird uses his song as his only tool for communication and an indirect protest for his deserved opportunities. Dunbar states, “It is not a carol of joy or glee, / But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core” (lines 18, 19). In this quote, the bird’s cries and sorrowful song were misinterpreted for happiness, although they were his only resources for demanding liberty. Even though the bird’s song is full of longing and anger, others misunderstood the bird’s cries as cheerful and dismiss its true meaning. As a result, the bird’s misunderstood singing represents African American’s secret portrayal of difficulties disguised under joyful songs. Similarly to “Sympathy,” the enclosed bird in “Caged Bird” used his voice as a resource to try to overcome these injustices despite his restrictions. The author notes, “His wings are clipped and / his feet are tied / so he opens his throat to sing” (Angelou 12-14). In this quote, readers can observe that despite the trapped bird’s physical restrictions, he will forever maintain control over his feelings and words. Although tying the bird’s wings restrict his physical abilities, his perspective and emotions cannot be controlled by anyone else, accurately connecting with African American’s underestimated voice. Similar to the lack of response in “Sympathy,” in “Caged Bird,” the captured bird’s “tune is heard / on the distant hill” (19, 20) represents that although African American’s protests about their restrictions are heard, they continue to be disregarded and overlooked. Thus, both authors in “Sympathy” and “Caged Bird” used the trapped bird’s helpless song to represent African Americans’ only resource against multiple limitations, contributing to the theme about African American’s battle for liberty. 


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