The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy and “Suicide Note” by Janice Mirikitani are both about how two young women could no long take the pressures society placed upon them. Although the two poems have a very different tone, language, and structure the same underlying theme exists. In both poems the girls struggle to be perfect and to conform to the desires of others. Both women in the poems ultimately commit suicide because they can no longer live with the criticism and lack of acceptance that they face. These two young women represent a whole world of young females and males who are weighed down by society’s pressure to be flawless. As members of society, which especially includes parents with young children we need to assure the younger groups of people that they are perfect in their own way and that being themselves is the best possible thing they can be.
The poem “Barbie Doll” is a poem concerning a young girl who has let the societal expectations that America puts on young women destroy her. The poem starts out by explaining a small female child who is just like all young girls. She had dolls and miniature ovens and lipsticks for the dolls, but when she hit puberty and her body began changing a classmate called her fat (Piercy, 687). This seems to be the beginning of all of her internal battles and self-esteem issues. The next stanza describes all the wonderful characteristics that this young woman should have been very proud of. She was a healthy intellectual who was also quite strong and skillful with her hands (Piercy, 687). The second stanza is predominantly sad to me because she possesses many of life’s more important qualities and it is a shame that she was unable to comprehend that. By my standards intelligence is a more prestigious quality to possess over beauty. The image that she owns is not incorrect in an empirical sense, but it is one that America does not accept as being the definition of the perfect woman. The girl’s human...
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