Poetry Analysis

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  • Topic: Woman, Fashion doll, Girl
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  • Published : October 12, 2011
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David Hathcock

Mrs. Laura Govia

English Composition II

28 Sept 11

Poetry Analysis of “Barbie Doll”

In the poem “Barbie Doll” the speaker uses three elements to depict the character as a young woman growing up in a society that personifies women to look a certain way to be accepted. This is done through the use of the elements of: imagery, symbolism, and situation.

The poem starts out with giving the reader the image of a young girl being brought up to think her place in society, is to be in the home, cooking, cleaning, and raising children. This is done with

This girl child was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. (Lines 1-4) These lines present a picture of a child being given a model of what adult women should look like, how their homes should be kept, and what she is supposed to live up to. The speaker uses descriptive language to emphasize the actuality of the situation that the poem is set in.

Another way the speaker uses imagery in the poem is in “You have a great big nose and fat legs. / Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs”. This shows how society sees her and perhaps the way she is starting to see herself. The speaker implies that the young girl is only seen by everyone else as having “great big nose and fat legs” and that is her only qualities that stick out. This is an example of imagery because it is describing how in society’s eyes she’s not pretty and doesn’t fit in. The speaker reaffirms that she is only seen as a girl with, “a fat nose on thick legs” (Lines 6, 11).

Imagery is also supported in this poem by “So she cut off her nose and her legs / and offered them up.” These lines show that she sees the flaws that society says she has. The image that it brings to mind is a girl that changes her appearance to conform to the “Barbie Doll” image, and because of that she gives up her flaws, as if...
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