Essay on Maya Angelou 's Phenomenal Woman

Essay on Maya Angelou 's Phenomenal Woman

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Only an awe-inspiring poet evokes the deepest, darkest emotions in her audience. She entangles the reader to believe, imagine, and desire and feel whatsoever emotion and experience she chooses to portray. Maya Angelou does exactly that in her poem Phenomenal Woman. Angelou mocks the societal view of the ideal woman and drags many different types of audiences into her confident and majestic principles for being a woman, of being who she really is. Angelou uses various types of figurative language to express and illustrate her opinion of the phenomenal woman she is and of the phenomenal person anyone can be. By doing so, she “lampoons the conceived notions of beauty” and finds contentment in herself as the woman she is (source #1). Her use of metaphors, refrain, and alliteration to portray the “unflinching confidence about her phenomenal identity” is perceived differently from the perspective of a insecure or stereotypical man or woman (source #). The figurative language has multiple meanings for man and a man.

The poem begins immediately by picking on the “pretty women” who need to know what makes the poet who she really is. It goes on addressing the “secret” that the poet has. In the second stanza Angelou uses “ a hive of honey bees” to compare the men that keep following her. By explicitly stating in the first stanza that she is not “built to suit a fashion model size’s,” the poet still mention that all men are tattered toward her confidence and vibe as she “walks into a room.” The first stanza can be interpreted the same even if the poet is specking directly to woman who are insecure of their looks, men, or even women who unfairly fall into the blonde stereotype. But Angelou’s transition into her second par...


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...ecret lies,” to emphases that she knows she isn’t the most beautiful woman. The poem starts of with an alliteration, which helps the poem built its’ theme. The “stride of my step, sun of my smile, hive of honey,” etc. (source#) are all short two word alliterations which she also uses line by line. The alliterations make her poem seem short to read and give a vibe of how a women sounds. Alliteration adds a voice to this poem which can be viewed differently from person to person. People who themselves are put into stereotypical chapter traits can interpret the poem in a whole another way than a person suffering from low-self esteem. Both men and women can be the voice of this poem. All Angelou is really trying to do is to use alliteration as a tool to add a relatable voice to the poem. She is keeping it simple to make her readers interpret the meaning in multiple ways.

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