Common Theme in Cinderella and Barbie Doll

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Nikki Hrubec
Ms. Birdsall
English 11
February 15th, 2011
Common Theme in Two Poems
In the two poems, "Cinderella and Barbie Doll," both authors use different literary devices to prove a common theme. The common theme throughout both poems is that people will mutilate themselves to obtain what they perceive as happiness. Also, the poems show how societies create a standard of living, which classifies how certain genders should act. The poem "Cinderella" by Anne Sexton is describing the original fairytale "Cinderella" in a distorted view. Anne Sexton begins her poem by giving examples of impoverished people such as a plumber, a nursemaid, a milkman, and a charwoman whom accidentally got lucky in life and morphed into lavishly living citizens. In the first four stanzas, Sexton uses antistrophe to further convey how important "that story" is to the poem (line 5, 10, and 21). Anne Sexton then shifts to recounting the story of Cinderella in stanza 5. She describes a young girl who lives with her father, mean stepmother, and two pretty, but despicable stepsisters, after her kind mother dies. The poet uses similes to describe both the two stepdaughters (Line 29) and Cinderella's slave-like tendencies (Line 32). She then talks about how a dove comes out of a tree, granting her every wish. The day of the ball, the dove helps her pick up all the lentils her stepmother had thrown on the floor as a trick to hinder her from going. And with this challenge completed, the dove also gives Cinderella the full royal clothes and treatment. For two days, at the ball, Cinderella manages to steal the prince's heart, escape her stepmother and sister's recognition, and flee back into the pigeon house before getting caught. However, the third day, her shoe gets stuck on the sticky waxed steps, thus giving the prince an opportunity to search for his princess by making every girl in the kingdom try the slipper on. In the poem, Cinderella's sisters cut off part of their...
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