Analysis Of Barbie Doll By Marge Piercy

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Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” is a contemporary poem based on the idea of feminism. The characters include the “girlchild” (Piercy 1), a classmate (5), and everyone (11), else who can’t accept her for more than just her looks. In the first stanza, the child is born and is given all the toys that go along with her specific gender role. The child is encouraged to do the things that women are known to do. Once she reaches puberty, she is teased for having a different body type than others (6). This is the time that she becomes self conscious of her body, even though she seems to have many positive qualities. After begging and pleading for approval, she is never accepted for who she really is, and decides that she has had enough. The last stanza…show more content…
Lyons writes,“Her mother and her maternal grandmother, who was born in a Lithuanian shtetl, were the central figures in her childhood and appear frequently in her poetry” (327). Being that Piercy grew up with strong female role models in her life, it makes sense that feminism would be a recurring topic in her writing. Another source states, “Piercy is especially concerned with the extent to which the sexual identity and individual personality of a woman in contemporary society is in conflict with those outer forces attempting to determine who and what she is,” (Poulin 714). In “Barbie Doll,” the main character is not in conflict with any force until she is taunted about her body. A classmate, the outside force, points out the negative qualities of the girlchild, which causes an internal conflict. Contemporary Authors Online quotes Marge Piercy saying that her intentions are to “give voice to something in the experience of a life” (“Marge Piercy” 4/15). Along with this idea, one source revealed, “Piercy’s poetry grows out of her own life and the lives of those around her…” (Lyons 328). Readers can conclude that Piercy’s work reflects her experiences and she uses writing to re-live these…show more content…
It contains four stanzas: the first stanza containing six lines, the second stanza with five lines, and the last two stanzas with seven lines. There is no particular rhyme scheme, except the use of an approximate rhyme with “candy” (4) and “pee-pee” (2). The poet structured this poem to be free verse for the reason that it expresses the need for women’s freedom. The formal and informal parts correlate with the way that each stanza represents each stage in the girl’s life, making “Barbie Doll” a narrative. This helps readers follow the pattern of her life much easier. Certain sentences in each stanza are lower-case emphasizing the main character’s qualities. Additionally, the author uses enjambment to pull the reader in, getting deeper and deeper into the character’s emotions, with each stanza. However, some lines are short and to the point. This combination makes the author’s point more effective. The line length varies to make the ideas of the poem fit together like puzzle

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