Barbie Doll Poem Analysis

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The Poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is about a girl who struggles with her body image. The speaker in the poem acts as an observer; watching the girl encounter different experiences as it related to her body image. Today’s generation is much similar to the life of the girl in this poem. Girls are forced to keep up with rising standards that are overwhelming and destructive. This poem uses form, imagery, and word choice to express how society chooses not to accept girls who do not represent the “ideal” woman. The form of the poem was written in free verse style. It consists of four stanzas and each stanza tells a different part of the girl’s life. The first stanza sets the scene. It began with a description of the child as a normal child who is no different from any other child “This girlchild was born usual.” (Piercy, 1963, line 1). Lines five and six in the first stanza served as a transition from a happy young girl playing with Barbie toys to an adolescent girl who is being judged by society. The second stanza explained the affect society has on the girl life despite how perfect she was on the inside. The third stanza showed how society compels the perfectly healthy girl into unhealthy habits, only to be accepted. At the end of the third stanza, the girl paid the ultimate price to be accepted into society. The last stanza served as a conclusion where the only way society could accept the girl was if she was perfect. This formation showed the audience step by step explanations why a young girl with self-doubt issues would result to such a drastic ending decision. Furthermore, this poem uses imagery to interpret the theme. The imagery helps the reader picture the perfect woman in the eye of society. In stanza two for example, “presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE...
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