Analysis Of Marge Piercy 's Barbie Doll Essay

Analysis Of Marge Piercy 's Barbie Doll Essay

Length: 1000 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Since the beginning of time, women have not lived up to set expectations. Society has long been obsessed with the idea of the perfect woman. This slightly varies in different cultures, but in America, they have been known to be housewives and mothers who must constantly look pretty. In Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll,” she uses bold diction and symbolism to shows society’s views on women. Anne Sexton uses metaphoric imagery, for the same reason, in her poem “Her Kind.”
In Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll,” females are pressured into their pre-assigned gender roles starting at a young age with their dolls. Once the “girlchild” is born, she is given, “dolls, stoves, irons, and lipstick,” (Piercy 2-4) to prepare her for her future roles and clueing her into to her future expectations as a woman, mother, and housewife. Often mothers have had the same thing done to them and it becomes a natural cycle. The items given to these girls are priming them for their life as a wife and mother. She is expected to be a good mom, a nice housewife, and look pretty all at the same time. This often puts such stress and pressure on a woman often by the age of puberty they have reached their breaking point. No matter what good things the girl has going for her she breaks. She feels like she is not good enough because she has a “fat nose and thick legs.”(Piercy 11) She then feels as if she needs to be fixed. Her inner worth is not seen, only her physical flaws. The girl decides to remove her physical flaws and ends up killing herself. In everyone’s eyes, she finally becomes the perfect doll.
Anne Sexton uses metaphoric imagery in “Her Kind,” to compare a modern day female’s struggles to those of a witch. The speaker says she understands what the women of forme...


... middle of paper ...


...itch. In both situations these women are constantly left alone to prepare and do things for everyone else, the only time they are with others is when they look pretty and present their dinners. Both types of women are constantly isolated, lonely, misunderstood, and thought of as a lesser person and insignificant being.
Anne Sexton’s “Her Kind,” character felt little to no shame in being a witch in modern society’s eyes. On the other hand, Marge Piercy’s “girlchild” in “Barbie Doll,” could not take the pressure. In both cases women are known to have their specific tasks they must do and those are the only things they can do. Both women show how to deal with the same situation in varied ways and possible outcomes of each. These poems show the different ways a certain group of people, in this case women, are treated based on one of the simplest things, their gender.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Analysis Of Marge Piercy 's ' Barbie Doll '

- In “Barbie Doll,” by Marge Piercy, the speaker’s tone is remorsefully cautionary because she aims to protect females from the societal standards that caused the female subject of the poem to commit suicide. Early in the poem, the speaker illustrates the teen prior to her death: “She was healthy, tested intelligent, / possessed strong arms and back, / abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity” (7-9). Clearly, the girl had the potential to be very successful, as a result of her many natural gifts....   [tags: Suicide, Adolescence, Girl, Description]

Better Essays
1096 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis of the poem Barbie Doll, by Marge Piercy

- Barbie Doll’ written by Marge Piercy (1973) This girlchild was born as usual And presented dolls that did pee-pee And miniature GE stoves and irons And wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs. She was healthy, tested intelligent, Possessed strong arms and back, Abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. She went to and fro apologizing. Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. She was advised to play coy, Exhorted to come on hearty, Exercise, diet, smile and wheedle....   [tags: Barbie Doll Essays]

Better Essays
1395 words (4 pages)

A Woman’s Place in Society Explored in Marge Piercy’s Barbie Doll Essay

- The Poem “Barbie Doll (1969)” by Marge Piercy describes the life of a young girl who fell victim to society’s idea of beauty. Marge Piercy was a known social activist and uses this poem to bring attention to serious issues facing young females in society. In the first stanza the author begins the poem by introducing a little girl. In the first line of the poem Piercy presents the idea that this little girl was like any other average little girl. “This girlchild was born as usual”(line 1). She then goes on to say like other young girls this child was given a Barbie doll, complete with the accessories....   [tags: Barbie Doll Essays]

Better Essays
984 words (2.8 pages)

Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy and David Talamentez on the Last Day of Second Grade by Rosemary Catacalos

- “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy and “ David Talamentez on the Last Day of Second Grade” by Rosemary Catacalos are two poems that show a unique view into society and the roles society expects people to fill. Sometimes those expectations can lead people to take drastic measures or even cause defiance in some people. The irony of this is that it seems the more we push people to be what society wants the more it drives them to be what they don’t want. In “David Talamentez…” (lines 57-59) “over by cars....   [tags: poem analysis]

Better Essays
568 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Marge Piercy 's Barbie Doll

- Feminism has yet again become a prominent topic in recent years and the issue is ripe with controversy due to the tendency of sexism to be more subtle now than it was in the past, such as back during the Women’s Suffrage Movement. While, superficially, Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” seems an antiquated, obsolete analysis of insignificant stereotypes that are no longer relevant in modern society, this isn’t the case as one looks deeper. Marge Piercy paints an exceptionally bold, audacious, and, at times, almost grotesque picture of 1973 sexual stereotypes which decidedly still holds true over 40 years later....   [tags: Stereotype, Woman, Sexualization, Girl]

Better Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Female Body Image and the Mass Media Essay examples

- From the time they are born, girls are influenced by society as to who they should be, how they should look, and how they should act. Americans believe that women should be to a certain standard; pretty, feminine, and especially, thin. The pressures derive from family, media, and friends. Marge Piercy’s poem, “Barbie Doll” depicts a girl who was never recognized for her character and spent her life trying to be accepted for who she was, rather than how she looked. We live in a society with rigid gender roles and expectations as to how people are supposed to be, based completely on their sex....   [tags: Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll]

Better Essays
1579 words (4.5 pages)

The Chimney Sweeper And Barbie Doll : An Unlikely Pair Essay

- The Chimney Sweeper and the Barbie Doll: An Unlikely Pair At first glance, the poems The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake, and Barbie Doll, by Marge Piercy appear to have no tangible similarities. However, upon further analysis and interpretation, they can be seen as somewhat akin. In these two poems, the harsh treatment of children, the use of imagery, and children’s self-image in the poems are comparable. The differences between the two poems include the time period in which they were written, the background of the characters, and the characters’ reactions to the problems that they are faced with....   [tags: Chimney sweep, Chimney, Fashion doll, Childhood]

Better Essays
1428 words (4.1 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' Barbie Doll ' By Margie Piercy Essay

- "Motherhood is bliss." "Your first priority is to care for your husband and children." "Homemaking can be exciting and fulfilling” (Modern Feminism internet). This was some of the advice women would hear among society. This was what society believed women were good for. Modern day feminist poets, like Marge Piercy focuses on women. “Her novels and poetry often focus on feminist or social concerns, although her settings vary” (Marge internet). Her poem “Barbie Doll” is an example of her showing her feminist writing....   [tags: Woman, Girl, Female, Women]

Better Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Essay on Marge Piercy’s Barbie Doll

- The Poem “Barbie Doll (1969)” by Marge Piercy describes the life of a young girl who fell victim to society’s idea of beauty. Marge Piercy was a known social activist and uses this poem to bring attention to serious issues facing young females in society. “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is a narrative poem; the poem is written in free verse. The author selects a free form of poetry and other devices to help get her point across. The central message of this work is that society is obsessed with appearances....   [tags: Barbie Doll Essays]

Better Essays
1437 words (4.1 pages)

Marge Piercy’s Barbie Doll Essay

- In Marge Piercy’s, “Barbie Doll,” we see the effect that society has on the expectations of women. A woman, like the girl described in ‘Barbie Doll’, should be perfect. She should know how to cook and clean, but most importantly be attractive according to the impossible stereotypes of womanly beauty. Many women in today’s society are compared to the unrealistic life and form of the doll. The doll, throughout many years, has transformed itself from a popular toy to a role model for actual women. The extremes to which women take this role model are implicated in this short, yet truthful poem....   [tags: Barbie Doll Essays]

Free Essays
604 words (1.7 pages)