Homage To My Hips Analysis

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The Significance of Woman's Power Can Also be a Cautionary Tale Both “homage to my hips” by Lucille Clifton and “Barbie doll” by Marge Piercy are free verse and deliver different perspectives on the significance of woman's power. Clifton's poem empowers women to never be controlled by another person. Whereas Piercy's poem is a cautionary tale about a female giving their power to others and allowing an idea of perfection to create a self-conscious prisoner that wears them down until they voluntarily sacrifice their life. From our text we know that “Piercy engages with social myths that she believes inform the behavior of women” (Kelly 238). These poems were written respectively in 1973 and 1980 but continue to remain relevant 37+ years later …show more content…
Clifton points out that women should not be suppressed by men, rather women are equal and should be given the same opportunities. In Clifton's poem when she says “I have known them / to put a spell on a man and / spin him like a top!” (13-15) she is asserting that all women have the power and that all men can be manipulated by any woman. Women are more than being subordinate to men and raising children. Women must be empowered equally for any society to flourish. Men are not capable of giving birth to children, so without women societies would cease to exist. Clifton's tone throughout “homage to my hips” is very confident. Clifton's speaker is confident, articulate, and honest with herself as a woman. She's bragging directly to the audience about how amazing, “big” (1), “free” (6), “mighty” (11), and “magic” (12) her hips are. They are something she is boastfully proud of and represent being a whole woman. In the same way, Piercy's second stanza points out the exceptional qualities the girl has become oblivious to. The girls is “healthy” (7), “tested intelligent” (7), and “possessed strong arms and back” …show more content…
The tone appears sarcastic because of the absurdity of a world in which a doll indoctrinates a “girlchild” (1) to a society's idea of what female beauty or perfection should be. The poems speaker seems to be an all-knowing third-person describing a cautionary tale warning females not to recklessly give their vitality away and disrespect themselves. Even in 2015, Barbie's core demographic is 3 to 6 year old’s (“Barbie Doll Statistics”). Girls continue to be socialized at a young age when “presented dolls” (2) and accessories of “stoves” (3) for cooking, “irons” (3) for laundry and/or hair and “lipstick” (4). In Piercy's first stanza when the “girlchild” experiences the “magic of puberty” (5) a classmate, who has also been indoctrinated by society, tells her that she has a “big nose and fat legs” (6). As girls get older they become aware of how society judges their appearance and that they are able to change the way they look. Barbie dolls teach young girls to be tall, skinny and blonde to be liked or popular. Most of the time Barbie is also caucasian not offering very much in the way of diversity or culture. “Contrary to Western pressures, many African countries such as Mauritania and Nigeria view overweight women as the most sought-after, while the slimmer few are considered undesirable and encouraged to gain weight” (“This is How”). Even though Piercy wrote the “Barbie Doll” poem in 1973, her poem remains relevant

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