Analysis Of Barbie Doll

Decent Essays

Vying for Perfection (1a) The poem “Barbie Doll” written by Marge Piercy contains several denotations and connotations throughout the work. Denotation, signifying the literal meaning or dictionary definition, whereas connotation signifies the various meanings related to the word. In the poem, the words “cosmetics” (20) and “happy ending” (25) stood out. The poet writes, “In the casket displayed on satin she lay / with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on, / a turned-up putty nose, /.” (lines 19-21) Cosmetics as presented in Webster’s Dictionary is “relating to or making for beauty especially of the complexion.” The reader could also interpret that word as maybe not just to look better but to also mask the internal struggle that the individual is dealing with. Using make-up, women more-so like to paint a facade to feel and look a certain way to attract others, as the woman in the poem does. Going to the next phrase, “happy ending”, denotes that it will end on a good note for the protagonist. “To every woman a happy ending. (line 25)” Happy ending could also be characterized, especially in this poem as the opposite. The woman throughout the poem is struggling to appeal like a “Barbie Doll” on the exterior and wants to fulfill society’s own preference for beautiful causing the female to resort to physical harm. “She was advised to pay coy, / exhorted to come on hearty, / exercise, diet, smile, and wheedle.” (lines 12-14) As emphasized she was someone that she is not for

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