She earned an MA from Northwestern University and throughout the 60’s worked as an organizer of political movements. All of these things mentioned are qualities that any girl would want to have. Marge Piercy 's “Barbie Doll” perfectly defines this thought, and shadows a woman who feeds into the pressure of a superior image. Barbie Doll begins with the beginning of a girl’s life. As stated on poetryfoundation.org, Marge Piercy was the first of her family to attend college, and was involved in political movements such as, Students for a Democratic Society and also one against the war that took place in Vietnam. Eventually, the woman in ‘Barbie Doll’ has had enough of the way the world treats her and “cut off her nose, and her legs / and offered them up.” The poem concludes with a haunting image of “everyone” gathered around her coffin, admiring how … Piercy also maintains that people put more social, In her poem ‘ Barbie Doll,’ Marge Piercy discusses society’s expectations from women, particularly young girls. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. This character struggles and shows that society … with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on, After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Constantly, people are mocked for their appearance and expected to represent a "barbie-doll"-like figure. It is through advertising that we are able to contribute to charity. The child’s childhood ends after the first four lines, and she enters puberty. Next, the girl is called names until she resorts to the mindset that she is not perfect, but needs to be. Download the full version above. The fourth stanza of Barbie Doll begins with a funeral. (…) For example, these lines from the beginning of the poem: “and presented dolls that did pee-pee / and miniature GE stoves and irons / and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.”. The “undertaker” has taken the time to fix up her face, paint on “cosmetics,” and craft for her a “turned-up putty nose.” She finally has the face that she was made to want. These qualities were not good enough for a, Dudley Randall's Poem "Ballad of Birmingham" Essay examples, The Dark Side of Judge Pyncheon in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Novel, The House of the Seven Gables. She goes about “apologizing.” This is a trait that is often spoken of in regards to women and the way in which they are trained to act in the world. She dies and is buried with a reconstructed face and “turn-up nose.” In death, the speaker ironically states, she has found the happy ending all women desire. As a young woman, Piercy studied at the University of Michigan, where she was the first member of her close family to attend college. It becomes clear that the woman has died and that the speaker has thrust the reader into her funeral proceedings. She has gained the “happy ending” that every woman on earth dreams of. Sadly, in one way, this is the case. Let it be noticed that this piece was written in the late 60 's, and compare the harsh and drastic change from the “perfect woman” from, In “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy, society has a way of placing unrealistic expectations on women in today’s society. No matter how hard you try, you will never be fully accepted until you die. What a lovely message. Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs. Women have not been, and in many places still aren’t meant to be “strong” in any definition of the word. Study for free with our range of university lectures! You can read the full poem Barbie Doll here. These toys, familiarly gendered to her sex, are meant to train this child in how to be a woman and a mother. Please log in again. The title carries a lot of meaning because a Barbie Doll has been an icon in society. She was inclined with the Students for a Democratic Society and many groups affiliated with feminism, environmental policy and anti-Vietnam War protests. All they can see are her supposed “faults.”. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. Throughout the poem, the speaker explores the sentiments against which feminism was and still is, fighting. The poet takes the reader from the “girlchild’s” birth and her first gift, a barbie doll, to her time at school and her death. There will always be someone who wants you to change something about yourself, in order for you to be “better.” If we do not take a stand for who we, January 31, 2015 The title accentuates the theme of the poem; the Doll symbolizes society’s interpretation of beauty and a reflection of how the girl’s ideas of this beauty shape her self-worth. Ms. Hamilton Just from looking at the title of the poem, we can see that the author believes society's expectations of women are unrealistic. It refers to the way that poets trigger the reader’s senses with their descriptions of people, places, experiences, and more. Marge Piercy was born in March of 1936 in Detroit, Michigan, to a working-class family. Parents around the world have gone as far as arguing that the Barbie doll, a non-existent figure, has caused their children to develop an eating disorder from trying to maintain Barbie’s figure. The speaker continues on, adding to the list of objects that the child acquires at a young age. It is helpful to imagine the reaction if a “boychild” was given these same toys to play with. From a  young age, she is given these objects as if it is completely natural for a child to spend time changing a pretend baby’s diaper and cooking for an imaginary future family. English Literature They are relatively close in the line number and line length, allowing some cohesion to the piece without needing a cohesive rhyme scheme. In the poem Barbie Doll, the author Marge Piercy suggests that an American Barbie Doll typically presents herself as being the “perfect” woman and this leads to people being jeered at for their appearance and expected to have a Barbie-doll-like figure. Her most recent collection came out in 2015 and was titled Made in Detroit. Piercy is an emotional writer who often writes from a feminist point of view. We've received widespread press coverage since 2003, Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we're rated 4.4/5 on reviews.co.uk. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. The girl was encouraged to “exercise, diet, smile and wheedle” (14). Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. It is especially useful when a poem is written in free verse. The young woman is immediately met with standards that she cannot hope to meet, nor could anyone. This statement shows the reader how society does not look at what is on the inside of a woman and what her abilities are. These two themes are covered throughout the poem as Piercy delves into society’s image of who a woman should be. Barbie has had many occupations that require good educations, such as teacher, doctor and veterinarian. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. She gets a normal check-up at the doctor and was told she had good qualities, was intelligent, healthy and was strong. Finally, as if giving in to the teasing and torment inflicted upon her, the woman cuts. It is an act of unbridled desperation and she hopes that finally, after she has removed the offensive parts of herself, that she will be free. The piece of literature I chose to analyze was Barbie Dolls by Marge Piercy. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. ‘Barbie Doll’ by Marge Piercy, as the title suggests, was inspired by the traditional girl’s toy, the Barbie Doll. When the word Barbie comes to mind, one usually thinks of her unrealistic body type-busty with tiny waist, thin thighs, and long legs; yet less than two percent of American women can ever hope to achieve such measurements. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. The doll presents an idealized image of the body. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. 123 writers online. In the first line, the speaker reveals that society advises the girl to “play coy” (12). One of her most popular works, He, She, and It, published in 1991, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. She discusses gender and gender stereotypes through the story of a “girlchild.” The poem is filled with haunting and disturbing images that tell the story of a young woman’s life and death. The child was given.