The Main Ideas in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

In the poems 'Phenomenal Woman' and 'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou, we see a variety of important ideas and/or themes that emphasizes fitting in today's society, encouraging others, specifically women, to be confident and independent and most poem a more in depth meaning to the readers. One of the main ideas in the poems that are pointed out is fitting into the society. "Pretty women wonder where my secret lies, I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size” In today's society, the definition of perfect is being skinny & pretty, it affects almost every girl in the world and try to fit in and if they don't fit in, they get bullied and treated like dirt, and sometimes it gets worse, sometimes people take it to heart and self-harm or try to commit suicide; which in my opinion is very sad and quite disturbing; the fact that people try to hurt themselves and even worse, take their own life away is just overwhelming and indescribable.

“You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may tread me in the very dirt but still, like dust, I'll rise" This quote from 'Still I Rise' shows that no matter what other people say and do to her, she won't give in.

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“On society: We are growing up. We are growing up! Out of idiocies- the ignorance of racism, sexism & ageism & all those ignorances.” Angelou uses different themes to support the ideas she's trying to portray, one is encouraging others to be confident and independent.

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Being confident in your own identity means having faith and pride in yourself. It means that nothing can stop you from being you. “It's the fire in my eyes and the flash of my teeth...” this quote tells us that she is fierce and confident. Angelou encourages us in the slight obvious way. To despite the haters and typical judgemental people, we got to have courage to stand on our own feet because in the end, no one else will be able to stand up for you, no one else but yourself. “You may shoot me down with your word, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I'll rise” –Still I Rise Last but not the least, equality. Equality is really important because it balances out the line between men and women and cultures and beliefs. Everyday someone is being mistreated just because of their appearance or gender. We don't have to be a certain age, gender or have certain traits to be powerful. We all have the same rights to be who we are. “But when I start to tell them, they think I'm telling lies.” This quote from ‘Phenomenal Woman’ shows how sometimes people pretend to care about what you say or do but then they actually don't care at all. It kind of links back to the first point of fitting in today's society, we shouldn't have to live up to anyone standards/ satisfaction, let them accept who you are.

In conclusion, you can see from my three main points that no one should be treated indifferently than others and be criticised by our appearances. We are all unique in so many ways, we have different personalities, looks and experiences that will help us conquer the trials that life puts in front of us. These poems by Maya Angelou help us to motivate/ inspire ourselves and people around us when we are feeling down about our own imperfections. It gives us motivation that we don't have to be a certain somebody to be called perfect and beautiful. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're going to fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about. We're born to be somebody, and that somebody is you.

Updated: Feb 12, 2022
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The Main Ideas in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. (2022, Feb 12). Retrieved from

The Main Ideas in Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou essay
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