"A Young Woman's Suicide"
"Barbie Doll" by Marge Piercy and "Suicide Note" written by Janice Mirikitani are both poems about the story of a young woman's reasons for committing suicide. Both explain that their suicides were influenced by their feelings of not being 'perfect', rather or that the people around them did not think they were 'perfect' or 'good enough'. Though the tone, language, as well as the story written in the poems are different they both share the theme of a young woman's conflict of failing to be perfect in every way.
Suicide Note was written in the form of a letter by a young woman preparing to commit suicide. The letter is addressed to the young woman's parents and is an apology for 'not being good enough'. The beginning of the poem states, "An Asian-American college student was reported to have jumped to her death from her dormitory window... Her suicide note contained an apology to her parents for having received less than a perfect four point grade average," (846). Though this poem seems to focus on the young woman's ethnicity and more on the treatment she receives from her parents for being female. In general, this poem was a connection to most female students.
In "Barbie Doll" the young woman committed suicide because she was 'not being pretty enough'. "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," (Lines 7-11 pg1187). Both women in the poems apologize for their imperfections, yet there is no perfect being in this world.
Theses women make themselves the enemy rather than the people around them as any normal person would. The reader also has to question the descriptions the poems offer. Would the young women be placed under such pressure where they felt that they could only escape by death? Of course not, the authors make the young women seem as if they are only doing this to...
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