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The Chaos Of Conforming In Marge Piercy's 'Barbie Doll'

Decent Essays
The Chaos of Conforming
Poetry yields the power to send a message through a highly respected art form. The lessons learned in poetry have a greater connection with society because of their ability to connect on an emotional level. Poetry is where activism and literature intersect. If a poet chooses to use their platform appropriately they can spread awareness on important issues and be a voice for the marginalized. The ideas found in poems can influence the reader’s perspective on global issues and start a movement. Poetry is not for merely entertainment purposes, it also provides a source of inspiration for others. The greatest poets take advantage of their power to help shape a better world and not simply to earn a paycheck. Marge Piercy uses this power to educate society on gender roles in her poem, Barbie Doll. The poem follows a girl’s struggles to meet society’s expectations through different stages in her life, up until her death. Conforming to female expectations is an impossible task that ultimately destroys a women’s self-worth as seen through the repetition of nose and legs, a simile comparing her good nature to a fan belt and the situational irony surrounding her death.
The words nose and legs repeats several times throughout the poem indicating her growing insecurities. With each repetition her nose and legs are associated with negative characteristics such as being big, fat or thick. By the third stanza, the girl cuts off her nose and legs essentially killing
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