Human Crafting In Marge Piercy's A Work Of Artifice

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In “A Work of Artifice” Marge Piercy uses gardening and bonsai trees as a metaphor for the way women are controlled and tamed. A bonsai tree, in nature has the potential to grow to an enormous height; instead it is carefully pruned so that it becomes something miniature. Whereas we normally consider bonsai trees admirable, impressive examples of human crafting, this poem suggests that miniaturization involves caging and limitations: something that might have been grand and free is turned into something neatly shaped and carefully controlled. The overall tone is a satirical tone; the first example is implied by its title: “A Work of Artifice” By using the word “artifice,” she already begins to imply something sly and
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