Story of an Hour vs. Barbiedoll Essay

919 Words Sep 24th, 2001 4 Pages
Many authors explore gender roles in their writings. Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" uses gender in describing a woman that feels socially oppressed in her marriage. Marge Piercy's "Barbie Doll" explores gender roles by describing a woman as she goes through life and her infatuation with becoming the perfect image of society. Each of these authors uses women and how these women deal with their situation. Kate Chopin uses nature and Mrs. Mallard inner feelings, while Marge Piercy uses societies assumptions and their effect. Kate Chopin's "The Story Of an Hour" is a perfect example of social oppression that takes place in many marriages. "The Story of an Hour" shows that marriages no matter how much love can be an institution …show more content…
In Marge Piercy's "Barbie Doll" a young girl is troubled by the classification of what it takes to become a beautiful woman. "Barbie Doll" details the image that society projects upon women. From an early age young women struggle to conform to the standards that society has defined for them. Beautiful dolls such as Barbie are frequently the first source of association that young girls have with the image that society has placed upon them.
From the start the girlchild was given gifts that stained in her mind as what she was suppose to become in life. With the little dolls, GE stoves and irons, and lipstick her parents put this ideal image of the perfect woman in her head. With these types of presents the girlchild is already learning her role in society.
In puberty a classmate delivers a cruel blow by telling her "you have a great big nose and thick legs" (Piercy 223). Here we see the beginning of a conflict that will plague the young girl for the rest of her life. Although a girl can be healthy and intelligent, it is not expected for her to possess the physical qualities of "strong arms and back, abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity" (Piercy 223). These traits typically being male, the young girl sees them as being unnatural and negative. The girl feels as if she owes society an apology for possessing these characteristics. Piercy drives the point home by writing, "everyone saw her fat nose on thick legs"

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