Enc1141 Monday- Wednesday 2:00 – 3:15
September 24, 2012
Barbie Doll poetic analysis
The poem “Barbie Doll” by Margie Piercy is about a girl who, at a very young age, is teased about her looks. She lives her whole life based upon what one fellow child says to her one day until she can not take seeing herself as how he saw her anymore. The poem shows us that even one small joke about someone can affect her forever. The poem opens with the first stanza describing a normal “girlchild”, a child who had everything a normal, beautiful young girl would have growing up. She had “dolls that did pee pee/ and miniature GE stoves” and “wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.” She never viewed herself as anything other then a normal girl until a classmate told her she had “a great big nose and fat legs.” The writer never tells us if these taunts are backed up by anything truthful, and I can only assume the child is teasing her for something that does not exist as most children do during the years of puberty. In the next stanza, Piercy begins to describe other aspects of the child as she grows older. She tells us that she is smart, strong and has an “abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.” Although she was still the same as every other young woman she still believes that everyone sees a “fat nose on thick legs.” She even begins to apologize for the way she sees herself. People often don’t notice their flaws until Goodman 2
someone begins to point them out. And, as in this poem, most people will only begin to notice these flaws that someone else has put onto them, and nothing else about themselves. Her friends and family begin to tell her how to act around others. They tell her to “play coy” and to “come on hearty.” These are two very different ways to act and she not sure how to act because all she sees are her imperfections. She probably wonders how “a fat nose on thick legs” would act. Piercy tells us “her good nature wore out/...