Barbie Doll

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I chose “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy as my poem to analyze. I selected it because it such a bold and powerful poem. The name caught my attention first off. I wanted to know why someone would name a poem after a child’s toy. The poem ended so much more seriously than a game of Barbie dolls would. To me it is about the pressure of society to look a certain way. That pressure has led girls into self-harm and suicide just like the girl in the poem. “Barbie Doll” was written in open form or free verse. It contains four stanzas with unequal verses in each one therefore it has no rhyme scheme. The title brings a strong image of the famous figurine, a little girl's toy. A Barbie doll is the desirable but unattainable body image that girls grow up with. So once one has read the poem they understand these themes and ideas and how they relate the poems to the title.

The first line of the poem “this girlchild was born as usual” engages the reader because they learn she is a relatable average person. It also sets the tone of the story. The next three lines continue “and presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and irons and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.” These are all stereotypical little girl toys that a majority of the population of girls have or want. “Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:” the author is using irony in this line because very little is magical about the rough years of puberty. The class mate said in the next line “you have a great big nose and fat legs.” We know that kids at the age of puberty aren’t very kind so this line is not a surprise but it does tell the reader that other people do not find the girl to be pretty. The next stanza goes “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.” The stanza starts out talking about the beautiful characteristics of the girl. Despite her...
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