Essay about A Work of Artifice - A Profound Poem for Many Cultures

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"A Work of Artifice"- A Profound Poem for Many Cultures

Suppression of women has occurred in all societies. Damage created by societal repression ranges from psychological damage to physical damage. The suppression of women is not only perpetrated by men, often other women support the cultural traditions which are damaging, as they themselves grew up within the confines of those social norms. Marge Piercy, a feminist activist, writer and poet makes a statement against social norms damaging to women with her poem, "A Work of Artifice". After reading the poem, one can certainly appreciate the fact that many norms embraced as acceptable for a woman causes physical and psychological damage to their total health. Through "A Work of
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When coupled with the line "the bound feet" (Piercy, 20), the poem appears as if it were a comment solely about the injustice forced upon Chinese women from 934 until 1949. Foot binding is a painful process which includes breaking all of the toes and arch of the foot to grossly alter the shape of the foot, so that the foot, when mature would be no more than four inches long. The first break was usually made when a girl was three to five years old, then the feet were wrapped in yards of cloth to prevent them from growing or reshaping. The pain from the initial break was nothing compared to the enduring pain the women experienced for the rest of their lives. The pain was caused by the drastically deformed feet. (Chinese foot binding- lotus shoes)

The deformed feet, also called golden lotuses were a status and beauty symbol for the women in China. A girl was unsuitable to marry if her feet were not bound. Additionally, the feet became a sex symbol. Some Chinese pornography shows men becoming sexually aroused while fondling a woman's "golden lotuses". (Chinese foot binding- lotus shoes)

Two lines following "the bound feet", Piercy writes "the hair in curlers". By incorporating this line Piercy comments on more modern and western cultures. The way in which she delivers this line creates a
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