Barbie Doll By Marge Piercy Essay

631 words - 3 pages

The poem, "Barbie Doll," written by Marge Piercy tells the story of a young girl growing up through the adolescence stage characterized by appearances and barbarity. The author uses imagery and fluctuating tone to describe the struggles the girl is experiencing during her teenage years, and the affects that can happen. The title of this poem is a good description of how most societies expect others, especially girls to look. Constantly, people are mocked for their appearance and expected to represent a "barbie-doll"-like figure. Few are "blessed" with this description. The female gender is positioned into the stereotype that women should be thin and beautiful. With this girl, the effects were detrimental. The first stanza describes the influence that a child is placed into during early childhood. Girls are expected to play with "dolls" and "stoves and irons," the usual toys that relate to the old-fashioned duties of women. A young girl begins to learn what she should be for society and not to deviate from the norm. The tone used in this stanza is quite silent and simplistic at first, then takes a turn towards a more bold statement. The author uses the "magic" of puberty to describe the age where appearance comes into effect. It’s ironic that this particular word is used because puberty is actually a stage of emotional crisis’. A hurtful remark was made towards the child, and she was described as having a "big nose and fat legs." The second stanza also begins with the subdued tone mentioning the girls positive aspects, such as being "healthy…intelligent…strong." These specific details are usually related to the male. Once again, the gender characteristics play as an underlying factor. These qualities were not good enough for a woman if they were not beautiful. The stanza then takes a turn like the...

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