I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

contrast the fantasy and reality of Maya's easter dress. how does this help explain her fantasizing about being white ?

Ch. 1-6. Maya's easter dress

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Maya recalls an Easter Sunday at the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Arkansas. Her mother makes her a special Easter dress from lavender taffeta, and Maya thinks the dress will make her look like the blond-haired blue-eyed movie star that she wishes, deep down, to be. But, the dress turns out to be drab and ugly, as Maya laments that she is black, and unattractive as well. She leaves her church pew to go to the bathroom, and doesn't make it; she runs from the church, ashamed, but glad to be out of church and away from the children who torment her, and make her childhood even harder than it already is.....

One of the main themes of this chapter is race and appearance; Maya already establishes that she wanted to be a movie-star looking white girl as a child, and tried to deny her real appearance. Connected with the idea of race is beauty, as Maya describes images of blond hair and blue eyes as the paragon of beauty, and says her appearance is merely a "black ugly dream" that she will wake out of.

These excerpts are right from the GradeSaver site. Please chekk out the link below.