Barbie Doll Essay

800 words - 4 pages

Theme and tone are some of the most important aspects of understanding a poem. Not only do they tell the reader what the poem is about, it also tells them the author’s attitude and feelings towards the topic. It is crucial to know not only the topic of the poem, but to know what the author is trying to say about that topic as well. Many authors use poetry to express their opinions on certain issues. These issues can be controversial in some cases. The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy illustrates her view of a woman’s social role in America.
Just from looking at the title of the poem, we can see that the author believes society's expectations of women are unrealistic. A barbie doll is ...view middle of the document...

The last two lines of the first stanza is where we start to see a conflict in the poem. The author writes, “Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs” (476). Puberty is a rough time for young girls as they struggle to fit in and be accepted by their peers. Many times this can be detrimental to a girl’s self-esteem. In the second stanza, the author tells us that the girl is healthy, intelligent, and strong. She has a full character, but she was still insecure because she was not happy with the way that she looked. Instead of accepting herself for who she is, she focused on the imperfections of her physical appearance. The third stanza describes how young women are supposed to act, in addition to how they are supposed to look. The author says that the girl was “advised to play coy, exhorted to come on hearty, exercise, diet, smile and wheedle” (477 ). They want her to change the way she behaves in order to fit into society’s social norms, instead of just being herself and having her own personality. Eventually, this girl was worn to pieces trying to look and act like...

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