Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman Essay

Phenomenal Woman Essay

"Phenomenal Woman," by Maya Angelou, describes herself from her own point of view. It shows us her strong self-confidence when expressing the way she feels personally about herself. She may lead us to think that she does believe to be unattractive when she describes in the poem, "Pretty women wonder where my secret lies" (1). "Men themselves have wondered what they see in me" (30). She shows that even though she is not the cute, petite women, she is beautiful and can attract attention in any circumstance.

She is not only speaking for herself but speaking for all women. Women can do or be anything they want if they have the confidence to prove it. In the poem, she introduces to us just that. She tells them what it is about her and they just simply think she's lying.

It's in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I'm a woman,


Phenomenal woman,

That's me. (6-13)

Every action she makes, from the dazzle in her eyes, to the twist in her hips when she walks, shows that she moves about a room like she has complete control. Another place in this poem that shows this is when she says it's "the flash of my teeth...And the joy in my feet" (23-25). She truly shows her happiness, in general, and with who she is. Men have a hard time understanding of what it truly is that stuns them about her. Pretty women have a hard time wondering what it is about her too. She's not cute or skinny like them, so why do guys choose her over the pretty woman? She begins to tell them but they still don't see it. It's the way she stands straight and proud with her bright noticeable smile. She seems like a nice happy person and has a positive outlook on life. Her personality is filled with potential. In other words, there is much more to see then what meets the eyes. In the last stanza she expresses that it is time for them to understand why I don't look down on myself and why I keep my head up or I don't do anything spectacular to get peoples attention? When I pass by you should feel a positive vibe.

I don't shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud. (46-50)

In our society we tend to judge by means of face value. People may only look on the outside and never searching for what may be on the inside. But that will not stop Maya from feeling any different. She helps us come to a realization that actions,...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Sexism and Gender Roles Essay

1228 words - 5 pages Throughout history, sexism and gender roles in society has been a greatly debated topic. The Women’s Rights Movements, N.O.M.A.S. (The National Organization of Men Against Sexism), M.A.S.E.S. (Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism), and many other movements and groups have all worked against the appointment of gender roles and sexist beliefs. Many authors choose to make a controversial topic a central theme in their work of...

Personal Perseverance in the Works of Maya Angelou

1422 words - 6 pages Personal Perseverance in the Works of Maya Angelou       Internationally respected brilliant poet, historian, and author Maya Angelou says "in all my work I try to tell the human truth-what it is like to be human...what makes us stumble and fumbleand fall and somehow miraculously rise and go on from the darkness and into the light (Ebony 96). This theme is consistently exemplified throughout Angelou's greatly acclaimed autobiographical...

Maya Angelou- Speak Up

1558 words - 6 pages Maya Angelou experienced a life-changing event at the vulnerable age of eight: her mother’s boyfriend raped her. As a result, she chose to be mute for five years due to the emotional trauma this caused. Soon, a family friend named Mrs. Flowers, a wealthy and intellectual woman from Stamps, Arkansas where her grandmother resided, read with Angelou and helped Maya to express herself through writing. Mrs. Flowers taught Maya “words mean more than...

Biography of Maya Angelou

1391 words - 6 pages Maya Angelou is a phenomenal poet of the 21st century whose words have impacted many individuals. Angelou’s personal past experiences have allowed her to feel pain and have given her the ability to connect with those who have hardship in their lives. Her main audience is african american women however, anyone can find inspiration within her words. Her style allows for people of all ages to connect with her and her poetry. Maya’s passion for...

Maya Angelou

553 words - 2 pages Maya Angelou was born April 4, 1928. Her real name is Marguerite Johnson, but she later changed it to Maya. She was born in St. Louis, shortly after her birth her family up and move to Arkansaw. Maya grew up there in the rural parts of Arkansaw, and later married to a South African Freedom Fighter. She lived in Cairo with him, there she began her career as editor of the Arab Observer. At the request of Dr. Martin Lutheran King Jr., she became...

Maya Angelou's Use of Symbolism, Dialogue, and Conflict in her writings

841 words - 3 pages Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Johnson. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. Maya is a great autobiography writer, poet and writer of plays. She is also a producer, director, actor, performer, and singer. She spent her babyhood in California, however, after her parents divorced Maya and her brother went to live with their mother in Stamps, Arkansas....

Death Of A Salesman (happy)

580 words - 2 pages Happy Loman has grown up to be a well-adjusted man of society. He has developed from a follower to a potentially successful businessman. Throughout his childhood, Happy always had to settle for second fiddle. Willy, his father, always seems to focus all his attention on Happy's older brother Biff. The household conversation would constantly be about how Biff is going to be a phenomenal football star, how Biff will be attending the University of...

The Perfect Teacher and Educated Man

937 words - 4 pages When we were posed with the question "What does an 'Educated Person' look like?" I was at a loss. But as I went through my notes I realized how many phenomenal philosophers have played a part in developing the basis for education in this country. I realized also that I could not answer the question stated above with a singular philosopher's name. However, I do agree with definite points of individual philosophers and have decided to create my...

"Martha isn't guilty"

530 words - 2 pages "Martha isn't guilty"Just hours ago Martha Stewart was delivered with an unsatisfactory finding of guilty. Is she guilty? This was such a subjective trial, and media frenzy. The fact that she refused to testify on her own behalf hurt the outcome of her fate. She was protected by her constitutional rights; however, the jury always wants to her what you have to say. Martha probably did what all small, large and in the middle investors do,...

The Life and Accomplishments of Maya Angelou

1815 words - 7 pages The Life and Accomplishments of Maya Angelou Maya Angelou has inspired me in more ways than one, and I had to write about her. When Maya speaks people listen. She has this wisdom that only few have, especially when life wasn’t always great. She turned tragedy into triumph, and helped others in doing so. So, Maya has proven too many women, especially black women that you succeed, even if you have had a child in your teen years. She’s proof that...

This is a movie review of Run Lola Run or Lola Rennt..wafa nurdin

529 words - 2 pages At first, there was darkness. Then a low thumping bass. The slow ticking of a clock as the pendulum swings menacingly back and forth. The opening credits sweep before us. Then with a loud burst of synthesized techno sound, writer/director Tom Tykwer's energetic and chaotically creative film Run Lola Run started. And, less than a minute into 1999's most frantic, frenetic...

Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou is a poet born and raised in America. She has compiled several poems including the Phenomenal Woman which is one of her most acknowledged works (1978). This poem has been praised and criticised in equal measures. However, one thing that the supporters and critics seem to agree on is that Maya Angelou is a phenomenal woman as the poem says. This article also seeks to share some views on this topic.

Before agreeing or disagreeing with the assertion that Angelou is a phenomenal woman, one has to analyse both her life and this poem at the same time. As noted by Kelly Holland (1997), Angelou did not have a very fortunate upbringing. She did not have an opportunity to live with her parents as they had divorced when she was still very young. She lived in an environment characterised by a host of challenges, needless to mention that she was raped at one time. She was a black woman who grew up in America at a time when racism was still the order of the day. It is amazing to see someone with such a background growing up to become a poet and inspire people all over the world. Somehow, that is phenomenal.

Coming to her poem, this is a fascinating way of inspiring women to believe in themselves. As Hagen Lyman says, happiness is one thing that every woman looks for but most of them look for it at a wrong place (1997). Hagen also notes that appreciation is another thing that every woman would ask for but most of them look for it in a wrong way. If there is a woman out there who is wondering how to be happy and fulfilled, she should read this poem and implement it to the letter. It is a manual for unconditional happiness.

In this poem, Maya seems to be enjoying every bit of happiness and appreciation, and models are wondering how she manages all this despite her unattractive figure. People can’t understand why men adore her. But she tells them the secret is simple; self –confidence. She tells them it’s all about how you carry yourself around. How you look at yourself and how you don’t allow people to define you. It is about your personality. People will not define you by how you look but by how you let them define you. In short, according to her poem, we define ourselves.

In conclusion, through this poem, Maya urges women to be in charge of their lives so that everything else falls in place. The poem is an entertaining and educative peace worth reading. Indeed, Maya is a phenomenal woman.

Posted by December 6th, 2016

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman Essay”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *