Analysis Of Barbie Doll By Marge Piercy

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In Marge Piercy’s narrative poem, “Barbie Doll”, the story of a young girl is told from the viewpoint of an outside speaker watching her grow up around the norms of society and ultimately ends her life because of it. Throughout each stanza, a new important piece of information is expressed to the readers to contribute to both the theme and tone of the poem. Piercy is able to cultivate the idea that inward beauty is not valued in today’s society, and that artificial perfection can only be achieved through following the standards the world sets for little girls. By using a variety of diction, transforming the tone, expressing the theme throughout the story and employing a plethora of other approaches, Piercy captures the transition and deterioration …show more content…
The main character’s attributes are no longer analyzed but rather the standards of what she is supposed to act like, dress like, and look like. It states, “She was advised to play coy, /exhorted to come on hearty, /exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.” (Piercy 12-14), here the reader can see that the main character is no longer focused on her own wants, like playing with dolls or being intelligent, but is now concerned with how everyone else wants her to conduct herself. It seems here that this girl is being controlled by some force, whether by a girl or the whole world. This assumption is left up for the readers to decide, but overall this girl is no longer listening to her own voice. Furthermore, the statement contributes to the theme that society does not consider the inward beauty and good intentions by mentioning that the girl was directed to “exercise, diet, smile, and wheedle” (Piercy 14). This shows that the only things she was told were valuable was being skinny, healthy, and charming in order to get what you want. To justify this claim, the next line says, “Her good nature wore out/ like a fan belt.” (Piercy 15-16). This shows that because she tried so hard to be the girl everyone wanted her to be, she no longer was able to have the beauty she previously possessed. Being also a simile, this line compares the main character to a fan belt; or in simpler terms, a very essential car part. A fan belt is what helps to make a car function properly, without it the car could not operate accordingly. Relating it to the girl, her good nature was what made her unique; this also refers back to stanza 2 when the speaker listed all her “good” qualities. Because these attributes had worn out, the girl cannot be herself anymore; she is too consumed with being perfect in the world’s eyes. It lets

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