Society's Suppression of Women

991 Words4 Pages
In modern society, there is a large importance placed on women to be beautiful and poised. The ‘appropriate woman’ is supposed to be poised, elegant, and sophisticated. Whilst never inconveniencing anyone around them through voicing their ideas, or being anything more than an artificial figurine to display. “Barbie Doll” and “A Work of Artifice” are two poems, by Marge Piercy, which imply that women are tailored from a young age to fulfill the roles that traditional society has set for them. Each poem uses numerous literary elements to advance their purpose of showing how the public and society subdue women’s intelligence and hearty virtues in order to make them better fit the social norm of the domestic woman. Marge Piercy, in her poems “Barbie Doll” and “A Work of Artifice,” uses diction and metaphor to assert that society suppresses women’s intelligence and places an unjustified demand on women to be their idea of perfect.

The poems “Barbie Doll” and “A Work of Artifice” use diction in subtle ways to influence the way readers views the types of treatment women go through. In “Barbie Doll,” Piercy uses unsophisticated words to describe the treatment the girl underwent as a child. In line two, the poem says, “And presented dolls that did pee-pee” (). The use of the phrase “pee-pee” instead of “urinate” suggests that the author is projecting a pretentious and superficial light onto the person giving the doll to the girl. It gives the poem a condescending tone towards the person, assumably the mother, who gave her the doll. It also suggests that the mother sees her daughter as trivial and therefore undermines her intelligence. Such language is also used in the sixth line of “Barbie Doll,” that says, “You have a great big nose and ...

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...heir own interpretation of the poem. However, the meaning of her metaphors are pronounced, so that the reader knows precisely what she is referring to. All of the deviced Piercy uses in her poems are employed in a way that promote her central claim that women’s intelligence are subdued in favor of them being beautiful and submissive.

Works Cited

Delbanco, Nicholas, and Alan Cheuse. "Barbie Doll." Literature: Craft and Voice. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. 707-08. Print.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.

Love, Presley. "Tree Symbolism Ancient & Mystical Teachings." Universe of Symbolism. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. .

Piercy, Marge. "A Work of Artifice." Poemhunter.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. .
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