I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What contributes to Mr. Freeman's escalating his abuse of Maya?

chapter 12

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It's difficult to say if Maya did anything conscious. Certainly the more mother is not around the more this happens. Maya sleeping in her mother's bed when Mr. Freeman is there certainly precipitates his actions. Maya is also hungry for fatherly affection, but Mr. Freeman exploits this by molesting and later raping her. Maya says she wanted to be a boy as a child, so that she could be like a heroic figure in the comics, and end up winning in life.