Poem Analysis: Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll

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“Barbie Doll”
“Barbie Doll”, is a poem by Marge Piercy that published in 1971, during the second-wave of feminism. Piercy writes poetry related to personal struggle as well as social and feminist rights. Feminism is defined as the advocacy women take to have equal rights. According to Marge Piercy she explains how her writing can be useful to women stating, “To find ourselves spoken for in art gives dignity to our pain, our anger, our lust our losses” (560). This is a poem that gives Piercy’s view on how society believes a woman is supposed to look. The title is the perfect touch to how we compare an average woman to the slender, blonde, classic beauty of a Barbie doll.
The poem is a twenty-five line open-form narrative poem. It is a free verse, which is free from
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For example, the use of a metaphor in the third stanza compares the worn out feeling “the girlchild” has on life to a worn out fan belt. The author uses a fan belt as an example of life because, typically, fan belts wear out. Another example is the title itself. The Barbie Doll is the classic example of the timeless beauty and the perfect body. The author is stating how the “girlchild” is made fun of for her great big fat nose and fat legs, which she developed after the change of puberty. The focus in each ending line of the stanza makes the reader judge the “girlchild” for her looks rather than how intelligent and strong she is on the inside. By having the visual judgement shows just how people in the society view people and it is not about what is inside a person. In the last stanza, the author describes the funeral, and how beautiful she looks with make-up, putty nose, and dressed in pink and white, symbolizing feminine purity. Once, the reader sees the sarcastic tone in the end you will see how she finally never settled in with her own skin by stating, Consummation at last / to every woman a happy ending

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