A Literary Analysis Of Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll

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Marge Piercy’s, “Barbie Doll,” uses a variety of literary elements including language, tone, and irony, to discuss the treatment, or rather mistreatment of women in our world. The girl in the poem ends up killing herself after being harassed for her lack of feminine charm, the poem written in 1973 makes the reader question the way women are viewed and the heavy repercussions these expectations may carry.
Piercy’s view of the way the world treats young girls is illustrated through the language she uses in the first stanza. By using the word, “girlchild” to describe the newly born baby, the reader wonders if the gender was a disappointment to the parents. Rather than just saying girl or child, Piercy combines the two, creating a sort of flip term to reference the oppressed more “delicate” sex. It is not just a child, it is a girl child. Further along in this stanza in lines 2-4 the author lists all of the things the new little girl is given. “Dolls
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The girl is being laid to rest, dressed as girlish as possible, in pink of course, and adorned with thick mortician’s makeup. “Doesn’t she look pretty?” even after everyone berated the girl for her unpopular looks, in death all they can appreciate is her new-found beauty. The crows finally got what they desired, pleased with the affect they had on the girl.
“To every woman a happy ending.” This final line by Piercy really presents the poem’s message seamlessly. “Barbie Doll” was written in 1973 when gender roles were more common and women had fewer rights. Yet even today we find people who expect women to be seen and not heard. Women are expected to be beautiful and fun to look out, and if they cannot fulfill this duty they are often harassed, this is a theme seen often in feminist writings, a theme that will probably continue to occur until women can be heard even if they are not

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