Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Good Essays
Barbie vs. the World I’ll admit it; I absolutely loved playing with Barbie’s as a child! I must have had like twenty of them. She had everything: a dream house, Ken, plenty of friends, and a slender body with all the right curves, everything I dreamed of having when I grew up. “En Garde, Princess!” by Mary Grace Lord, challenges why every girl loves Barbie. Her article appeared in the online magazine Salon under the “Mothers Who Think” department on October 27, 2000, before the launch of a new doll line called the Get Real Girls, which were created by Julz Chavez. In this article Lord uses repetition, ethos, comparison and name calling to convince the reader that Barbie will soon encounter a fierce competitor, a better role model, which may finally dethrone her as the best selling doll of all time, or at least “punch a few holes in her sales” (423). In the first paragraph, Lord repeatedly uses military references to show the reader that Barbie has a fight ahead of her. I think Lord uses these references to draw in the audience that she is appealing to, which are smart, aggressive, opinionated woman. She declares that Barbie has been the leader in the doll industry since 1959, and that she needs to watch out for the “newly formed SWAT team of action figures known as the Get Real Girls” (419). SWAT means Special Weapons And Tactics, so this leads the reader to believe that the Get Real Girls are well equipped to battle Barbie for her throne. Also, Lord references Barbie need not “raise the pink drawbridge” (419) or “dump radio-controlled alligators into the moat” (419), both of which are found in military fortifications. This signifies that Barbie has not lost the battle yet, but that she is dealing with a fierce competitor, one she should be cautious of. Lord establishes ethos by telling the reader that she wrote the book Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll. This suggests that Lord has a vast knowledge about Barbie’s life, from her


Cited: Lord, M.G. "En Garde, Princess!" Reading Rhetorically: A Reader For Writers. 2nd ed. Ed. John C. Bean,Virginia A. Chappell, Alice M. Gillam. New York: Pearson, 2005. 418-23.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    As a focus study, it is seen that Barbie inherently displays such characteristics, and is therefore a legitimate popular culture. This being the case it must be observed that among other things, popular culture can react to and/or cause social change. In studying Barbie as a popular culture it became evident that Barbie has also exhibited such features. However, due to Barbie’s extensive popularity over both time and cultures, the social changes brought about by a simple toy, domestically created by Ruth Handler for her daughter Barbara (after whom the doll was named), have reached such a magnitude that in order to properly evaluate Barbie’s contribution to such a process, it must be broken down into levels of local, national and global.…

    • 990 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Barbie Q

    • 572 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In Sandra Cisneros's "Barbie-Q", a sudden abundance of flawed Barbie dolls makes the child narrator accepts her own identity and discards society's ideals of women.…

    • 572 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The poem, “Barbie Doll”, by Marge Piercy, is about a normal “girlchild” who gets criticized by society for not looking like a perfect doll. She changes herself to fit society’s expectations just to fit in, but only in the end does society see her as “pretty”. Piercy’s purpose of the poem is to show how society has appalling expectations of how women show look and act. Imagery, irony, and tone are terms that show how vile society's expectations are.…

    • 821 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Is Barbie the ideal woman? For generations she’s been the doll that little girls have aspired to be–a party girl, career woman and bathing beauty all wrapped into one . In Marge Piercy’s poem entitled "Barbie Doll," the title underscores the theme of the poem, which is that girls are ultimately and fatally entrapped by society’s narrow definitions of feminine behavior and beauty. By comparing the young lady in the poem to a Barbie doll, the author reveals the irony of the title. In the poem, the speaker is a person aware of the events taking place in a young girl’s life. However, the speaker is not aware of her feelings about what is happening. The poem is told in a matter-of-fact way, much like a Barbie storybook or movie. It is obvious that the author uses Barbie in the poem to symbolize society’s views of what the perfect female should aspire to be. Barbie’s unrealistic body type–busty with tiny waist, thin thighs, and long legs–is reflective of our culture’s feminine ideal. Yet less that two percent of American women can ever hope to achieve such dreamy measurements. By using similes, symbols, and a fairy tale-like tone, the author creates a cosmos starring a suicidal young lady instead of Barbie, the glamorous sex symbol the girl is compared to throughout the poem.…

    • 2312 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the poem “Barbie Doll,” author Marge Piercy utilizes four well-developed stanzas to depict a scornful view of American society. Applicable to all time periods, “Barbie Doll” narrates the short-lived life of a young girl despised by society for her appearance. Barbie Doll is like a fairytale, full of plasticity, fakeness, and fantasy. However, unlike a fairytale, “Barbie Doll” ends with society applauding the funeral of a princess that was torn apart into pieces and then worshiped. Written with varying tones of sadness and depression, vivid imagery, and compact concrete details, “Barbie Doll” presents a fact that society for centuries has blinded from view.…

    • 887 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Barbies are one of the dolls in today’s world that can be seen as both a positive learning tool and a negative way of how girls see themselves. To children, especially young girls Barbies are seen as role model, the Barbie is something that children can look up to. Barbies have a wide range of jobs; including: astronaut, nurse, veterinarian, police officer, chef, surfer, princess, fashion designer, rock star, olympian, and many more. Instead of Barbies only teaching the idea of running a household, the doll has opened up a whole new field of different things that a young girl can aspire…

    • 753 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The girl apologizes for not being what they want her to be and she tries to change herself into what they would like. The poem says “She was advised to play coy, exhorted to come on hearty, exercise, diet, smile, and wheedle,” this explains that she tries her hardest to change herself and fit in. Eventually she figures out that no matter how hard she tries she still can not become what they want of her. Imagery is shown by the standards of the people and that the Barbie doll is not a real person and no one can live up to her, but they have not realized that.…

    • 507 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Marge Piercy’s poem, “Barbie Doll,” the title carries a lot of meaning because a Barbie doll has long been an icon in society. Although it is a children’s toy, a Barbie doll exemplifies a woman with a perfect body exonerating beauty. This poem portrays a summary of a life since birth to the end of life at a funeral. The protagonist never had a chance to live her life to the fullest because she was always trying to please others and wanted to be accepted. She never got the chance to be herself which led her to a life of unhappiness. In the poem “Barbie Doll,” Marge Piercy uses repetition, simile and irony to show the expectation of society on women.…

    • 771 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In conclusion, Barbie is a bad example for young girls. She portrays an unattainable body image and puts negative ideas in young girls heads. Barbie is stereotypical and shy’s young girls away from careers typically done by men. She also is constantly in a relationship and if she isn’t, then she is hiding in her dream house. This tells young girls that they can not be happy unless they have a man. Parents should carefully analyze what this doll truly stands for before deciding to allow their own children to play with Barbie…

    • 683 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In "Our Barbie's, Ourselves" Emily Prager discover that Barbie was created by a man; inventor and designer Jack Ryan (para1). Emily Prager acknowledges that Barbie appeared about the same time during the feminist movement when women fought equality and small breast were king. Prager examines three different reasons why Barbie's anatomy is the way it is. First, she argues that there are millions of women who are subliminally sure that a thirty-nine inch bust and a twenty inch waist are the epitome of lovability, which attributes to the popularity…

    • 277 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Barbie, a worldwide viral doll known for her interest in adult-fashioned roles, indirectly constitutes the way American girls should grow up to be. With the creation of this doll came the thirst and need to sell it. Therefore, just one version of the Barbie doll is not sufficient. Mattel Inc., famous for its numerous toy creations yet infamous for its many controversies, has made Barbie’s boyfriend, sister, cousin and even her dog. Consequently, Mattel created Barbie collectibles that included the “Barbie Dolls of the World”. In this collection, the creation “the notorious PR Barbie” as Frances Negrón-Muntaner states in Barbie’s Hair: Selling Out Puerto Rican Identity in the Global Market, has developed confusion, furiousness and also indifference in the Puerto Rican society.…

    • 1652 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Young girls who play with Barbie aspire to be like her, they see it as the pinnacle of femininity, womanhood, and prettiness. Even unconsciously, girls who play with Barbie are dressing her up in pretty clothes, acting out their fantasies with this beautiful character. They will see that this is because Barbie is ‘perfect', and will see it as how they will want to…

    • 777 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Evolution of Barbie

    • 3088 Words
    • 13 Pages

    Bibliography: -Grassel, Kathleen. “Barbie Around the World.” New Renaissance. 1999. Renaissance Universal. 29 March 2002.<http://www.ru.org/barbie.htm.>…

    • 3088 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The poem “Barbie Doll” is a powerful poem written by Marge Piercy. The title carries a lot of meaning because a Barbie Doll has been an icon in society. Society has a hold on individual’s lives, especially on women. Since 1960, it started to be an issue on women to fit in and become what others want them to be. Women, who adapt to society’s dictate, have to stop being themselves and become somebody else in order to please everyone else. Society tells us how to dress and acting order to be acceptable. By using television, the internet, magazines, billboards and even toys we see a mold of what women are supposed to look like. The world in our eyes make us women think we should look like a Barbie Doll. It is sad to see that this poem was written in 1969 and forty three years later, we realize that nothing has changed and the same barriers still exist.…

    • 773 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    “Barbie Doll” is about an everyday girl who is born just as any other girl. She is “presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature GE stoves and iron and wee lipsticks the color of cheery candy” (Piercy 619). The speaker in the poem is trying to make the girl not just some unnamed girl in the poem; she is trying to make the girl represent every girl who tries to fit in with the pressures of today. The girl in the poem is happy and healthy at this young stage in her life and has nothing to worry about. There is no peer pressure to fit in and to have to look a certain way. She is just a normal, healthy, happy little girl. However, once puberty starts, social pressure to look and act a certain way changes her life.…

    • 1469 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays