Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou Poem Analysis


The poem d Phenomenal Woman was created by Maya Angelou and in this poem, the poet talks about several themes that are related to the woman of America. One theme that is quite widely highlighted by the poet is the theme of self-confidence. The poet has used various devices to explore the theme of self-confidence in the poem.


The poem pays great significance to the self-confidence of the female population of America and throughout the poem; the author has used various words to reflect upon the theme of self-confidence. One of the most prominent exhibitions of the theme of self-confidence in the poem is the title of the poem itself. The very word “phenomenal” reflects the use of the theme of self confidence in the poem. The poet has not only used the word phenomenal in the title of the poem, but she has also used the word almost in every stanza of the poem (Angelou 11-13). The poet has tried to convey the message that an individual (especially targeting the female gender) should have confidence in them and in what they are. The theme of self-confidence is directly related to the theme of American Identity and the main purpose due to which the poet has used the theme of self-confidence is to appeal to the female gender of America who experiences an ample amount of insecurities. The media of America has played a major role in making the female gender in America feel insecure. In American advertisement, an American woman or the benchmark American female is portrayed as someone who is quite skinny and has a size zero and the media portrays that such women are considered as beautiful in the society.
The main purpose behind creating this piece of art was to inform the American females that it is not necessary that one needs to maintain size zero and one does not need to have the perfect curves in order to look beautiful. The poet states that in order to stand out in the society, all a female American woman needs to be is self-confident about themselves and they do not need to look cute and they do not even need to look similar to fashion models portrayed in media (line 2). She further argues that men do not fall for looks of fashion models and they do not get attracted by females who look similar to fashion models. She states that the male gender is more attracted to how self-confident a female is. In order to reflect upon which kind of females men get attracted to, she uses examples such as “stride of my step” (Angelou 8) and “the flash of my teeth” (Angelou 23).


In the poem titled “Phenomenal Women”, the poet reflects upon the importance of being self-confidence for the woman of the American society and the poet tries to reject the notion that female gender of American needs to look like supermodels that are portrayed by media in order to look attractive to the male gender.


Works Cited
Angelou, Maya. “Phenomenal Woman.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. .

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