Analysis of Barbie Doll
Marge Piercy wrote the poem, “Barbie Doll,” to express how she felt about society and the stress that society places on physical appearance. Marge Piercy, herself, did not fit an image of what a woman was supposed to be like. Piercy is intelligent and has always been motivated to learn. In the 1950’s she was labeled for her deviant sexuality and ambitions. The theme of the poem is obedience, society enforce women to look a certain way. “Barbie Doll,” was written in 1973. In 1959 the original Barbie doll first appeared. Now for more than fifty years, parents have been purchasing Barbie dolls for their daughters, who attempt to imitate Barbie’s appearance. Barbie dolls are one of the best selling toys of all time. Marge Piercy relates to the girl in “Barbie Doll.” Piercy hides her rage with society’s pressure on women to look a certain way in “Barbie Doll,” in an ironic way. “Barbie Doll,” has four stanzas, each one progresses and changes the tone as the girl grows and changes.
The poem opens up with a “girlchild” being born. The poem begins like a fairy-tale, using words such as, “girlchild” in order to emphasize the fictitious quality of the story. The first stanza continues to disrobe the toys that the little girl was given to play, she was given, “miniature GE stoves and irons and wee lipsticks the color of cheery candy” (line 4). In this stanza the little girl is playing house, she is playing a role that society believes she is suppose to play. She played ironing and cooking. She had to look pretty, and that is why she was given the red lipstick. The
little girl did not choose to play with these toys; these toys were presented to her. They were presented to that when she grows up she would obey society and the status quo. The last line of the first stanza the girl hits puberty, and a classmate says, “You have a great big nose and fat legs” (line 6). The statement was written as a fact, which means that the girl believes what the...