Forms Of Literature: Barbie Doll

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Stephanie Nrekic
Professor Rinaldo
Forms of Literature
“Barbie Doll”

American culture encompasses today’s traditions, ideals, customs, beliefs, values, and innovations. In Marge Piercys poem entitled “Barbie Doll”, the title emphasizes the theme of the poem which is that girls are ultimately influenced by society’s limited definitions of feminine behavior and beauty. In this poem Piercy conveys the cultural and societal expectations that American culture places on children these days, especially young girls. The image that Piercy tries to portray in this poem is not supposed to be wrong in any way but in reality it is incorrect to what according to the American society is the “perfect women”. As a child, the girl in the poem was presented dolls that did pee-pee, miniature GE stoves, irons, and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. By providing and using solid examples that many Americans would be familiar with, and even using the brand name of General Electric, Marge Piercy allows the story to relate to images of the reader's past. In these examples, though, are the ultimate causes of the girl's lack of self-satisfaction: perfect bodies, perfect faces, and the perfect look. It is to no surprise that Piercy names the poem "Barbie Doll" the typical example of fake perfection. Further into the poem Piercy goes to greater extent to show the consequence of dissatisfaction with one's self. Despite the fact that she was healthy, tested intelligent, possessed strong arms and back, had an abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity, traits that would seem “perfect” to any human being, she was still unaccepted by society. The girl attempts to please everyone at first, but soon "Her good nature wore out." The people around her were the main cause. In the stanza that immediately follows, Piercy shows the main idea of the poem. The young women whom is now lying dead in a casket wearing a pretty dress and fake makeup now looks “beautiful” to the people around her. The...
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