Phenomenal Woman Essay

1219 Words Oct 15th, 2014 5 Pages
Maya Angelou is best known for addressing the world through the medium of her own life. Her works are a reflection of the social issues that were prevalent in the second half of the 20th century. “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou celebrates femininity and highlights the traits necessary for a woman to become ‘phenomenal.’ She believes that it is not the outer beauty of a person but the inner one which makes each woman phenomenal. She criticizes the biased societal expression that expects women to starve themselves in order to be considered ‘pretty.’
Stanza 1: “Phenomenal Woman” begins with a stark comment saying that she is neither cute nor has a great figure to suit a model’s size. She tells that ‘pretty women’ often wonders where the
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She finds happiness in her womanhood. In the first three stanzas, she describes what other people think about and her reaction towards their viewpoint. She is not embarrassed about her huge physique. She considers herself a supreme woman and celebrates womanhood.
Imagery:Maya Angelou has used imagery skillfully and vividly to create a ‘mental image’ of a woman who is self-confident, loves herself and is proud being a woman. The examples of imagery are given below,*I am not cute or built to suit fashion model’s size*The curl of my lips*The swing of my waist*The ride of my breasts*The stride of my steps*The flash of my teeth*The sun of my smile*The palm of my hand*the joy of my feet
Thus, we see the poet has used imagery to describe her whole body from head to feet and her behavioral patterns which make her a ‘phenomenal woman.’
Irony:The poem represents irony in the way the poet thinks about beauty and how the world perceives it. The poet is an African-American. She has experienced racial discrimination, rape and oppression in America. The American standard of beauty is to have fair color, sharp features and blue eyes. But the African American women do not conform to these standards. On the other hand, Maya Angelou believes that inner beauty is the real beauty of a woman. She feels confident in her curvaceous body and huge physique. She finds joy in her womanhood.
Figures of speech:This small poem of four

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