Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll

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The Poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is about a girl who struggles with her body image. The speaker in the poem acts as an observer; watching the girl encounter different experiences as it related to her body image. Today’s generation is much similar to the life of the girl in this poem. Girls are forced to keep up with rising standards that are overwhelming and destructive. This poem uses form, imagery, and word choice to express how society chooses not to accept girls who do not represent the “ideal” woman. The form of the poem was written in free verse style. It consists of four stanzas and each stanza tells a different part of the …show more content…
She begins the poem with a neutral tone. In the last two lines of the first stanza, she introduces complication when the young girl goes through puberty and the outcome is less than delightful. Here the tone is resentful, that anything less than perfect is flawed. The second stanza begins back in the neutral tone, but not as neutral. The stanza begins with a list of qualities that the girl has, which is everything a "normal" happy girl could have; yet she still did not meet the norms of society. Then the tone changes in the last two lines to express a sense of frustration as the girl feel the need to go through life apologizing for her image. She was not what society expected a girl to look like and she slowly became a victim of society's expectations. The third stanza is full of aggravation and frustration. The girl is fed up with her image and decides to have plastic surgery done to her nose and her legs. She then dies but ultimately achieves a happy ending of finally being accepted by society. Through tone, Piercy helped the reader understand the meaning of the poem. In conclusion, it is clear that the poems sole purpose is for girls to realize that they do not have to live up to the “ideal” Barbie doll image that society expects them to be. Simply being them and surrounding themselves around the people who will accept them for whole they truly are, will result in a happy

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