Gender Insanity in Barbie Doll, Ken Doll, and The Yellow Wallpaper

Gender Insanity in Barbie Doll, Ken Doll, and The Yellow Wallpaper

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Gender stereotypes have a huge effect on our generation now, and in the past. It makes us think in a certain way that we do, about males and females; which can make people insane from the expectations. A few of the expectations for males are that they have to be strong and muscular. On the other hand female’s expectations is weak and feminine. A great example of gender stereotype having the effect of making people insane is Barbie Doll, Ken Doll, and The Yellow Wallpaper. These three pieces of literature with gender stereotype, made the main character go into insanity.

Marge Piercy wrote the Barbie Doll poem in 1973, during the woman’s movement. The title of the poem Barbie Doll, symbolizes how females are supposed to appear into the society. In the poem Barbie Doll, the main character was a girl. She was described as a usual child when she was born. Meaning that she had normal features that any person could ever have. Piercy used “wee lipstick the color of cherry candy” as a smile to describe the child before she has hit puberty. After the character hit puberty, the classmates in her class began to tease her saying “you have a big nose and fat legs.” (Piercy pg. 1) Having a big nose and a fat leg is the opposite of what females are supposed to be presented as in the gender stereotype. In the society that the girl lives in, follows the gender stereotypes that presented females as a petite figure with a slender body. These expectations made the character go insane. She wanted to fit into the society so she “cut off her nose and legs and offered them up.” (Piercy pg. 1) Even though the girl was “healthy, tested intelligent…” (Piercy pg. 1) no one saw that in her, but her appearances. In the end of the poem the girl end up dying, a...


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...ooses the room to help her get better, which made him the person in control of what the wife is doing. By making his wife stay inside the room, his wife became insane by looking at the wallpaper and seeing herself like the trapped girl inside the wallpaper. Gilman uses the wallpaper to symbolize how the wife life is like. The wife had become insane and crawled around the room by listening to her husband.

In conclusion to gender stereotype, it can make people go into insanity. The first example was that the girl wasn’t appealing enough to what the society think of how a female is supposed to be presented as, and ends up killing herself. The second example was the boy wasn’t manly enough, and to show how manly he was he end up killing someone else. Finally the last example was not doing anything by staying inside the room crawling around the walls in the room.





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