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Plastic Society Essay

1213 words - 5 pages

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”― Marilyn Monroe

Throughout the decades, many girl’s have grown up playing with the renowned Barbie doll. Little did they know what they thought to be a toy during their youthful days, was actually a controversy queen! Although we live in the 21st century, girls are constantly pressurized to be a certain way. Society has created such standards that if someone does not make it to the set mark, they are considered undesirable. Young girls are being conformed into persona’s they don’t even identify with. Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll,” explores society’s unrealistic expectations of women through the use of the Barbie doll, ...view middle of the document...

The sudden tragic and gloomy tone influences the poem by adding to the seriousness of the issue. Each year, several girls take their lives due to feeling rejected and worthless because they did not live up to impractical expectations. Irony is sensed in the last stanza as the girlchild lies dead in her casket, finally being perceived as beautiful. The ironic tone makes the reader question the ways of society, as a young child was identified as unappealing while alive, but “pretty” when dead.
Symbolism provides intriguing insight to the literary piece by presenting stereotypical roles of women. When reflecting on the young girl’s childhood, Piercy states how the offspring was “presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons” (Piercy 604). By being presented - notice the authors diction, such toys, society indirectly conveys its idea of gender roles. Girls are expected to know how to run a household and do all the chores: cooking, cleaning, ironing, etc. Giving children such toys wires them to believe this is all they are capable of doing and are allowed to do. Another element of symbolism is the casket the girlchild was displayed in, all dolled up. The casket represents the Barbie box a Barbie comes in. She is dressed in pink, a color Barbie associates itself with, and is immobile. Barbie dolls are also rigid and its owners can bend and pose them any way they want. Just as Barbie dolls are controlled by their owners, the dead girlchild is being presided by her undertaker. If the young girl and her peers noticed her inner beauty and recognized all the positive qualities about her, she would have lived to see more days. But unfortunately, instead of supporting natural beauty and features, society gave her advice on how to conform.
Lastly, imagery fills Piercy’s poem with realism. By utilizing imagery, the poet exhibits the absurd expectations and unrealistic picture adults draw for children. Through alliteration in line 4: “...and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy” (Piercy 604), the image of beauty is portrayed employing make-up. Barbies are always dolled up without a hair or fake eyelash out of place. But why does the general public want their children to look like Barbie, when it is nearly impossible to look like her. According to daily mail, Barbie’s human scaled measurements reveal she would have to walk on all fours, have an oversized head, and “ her 16-inch waist would also be four inches thinner than her head, leaving room for only...

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