Unveiling Feminism and the Coming-of-Age Struggles in Marge Piercy's "Barbie Doll" | MyPaperHub

Analyzing Feminist Perspectives and Coming-of-Age Struggles in "Barbie Doll" by Marge Piercy

The poem explores Barbie dolls and our girls in the society. The Barbie doll mentality is a notion forced on our girls where they strive to develop physical perfection.It explores the manner in which Barbie dolls have influenced girls and have made them having nothing more in life than just focus on beauty. The Barbie doll mentality has led to the development of self-absorbed girls who think more about a perfect physical body rather than a good natural life.  One might wonder why the poet has put a lot of focus on the way girls have been put down for many years and the answer is that the poem is reflective of a feminist perspective. The poet wrote the poem at a time when the feminist movement was high fighting for the empowerment of women. The people lament her perspective and ideologies that the society has placed upon girls. She explores how Barbie dolls have made girls limited in taking part in other important activities rather than brushing hair and playing tea parties using playing houses. This explores the aspect of gender roles at the time where women focused on domestic duties and their beauty and were left out in other important aspects of the society such as education, employment, technology, and politics. The situation broadens the perspective of discrimination against women though psychological factors associated with the use of commercial products such as Barbie dolls. The poem explores a wide range of themes which help examined various details relating to women and empowerment. This essay will try and explicate some of the themes associated this poem.

One of the themes used in the poem is feminism. Feminism is associated with the need for empowerment of women. The poem was written in the 70s and paints a picture of the social expectations for women. It was not a very good time for women because women were looked down upon and the society demanded too much from them. The American society was at the time pushing women for physical perfection. The society had conditioned them to strive to be beautiful no matter what. This was also fueled by the Barbie doll mentality associated with the need for strive for beauty. This led to the development self-absorbed women who spent more time perfecting their physical attributes rather than enjoying life. The speaker brings out feminism using a disappointed tone. She is disappointed in the way the society has put down women and forced them into dangerous behaviors.

Another theme is coming of age. This is a theme that explores the process of growing up from a child to a woman. It is a very important process that defines our ideas, perspectives, attitudes, and personality. It is a process that helps us shape our perception of ourselves and the world. The theme of coming to gage in this poem is depicted with the need to meet the high expectations of the society. It shows how hard it is for people especially for girls to meet the expectations put forward by the world. In the poem, the theme of coming of age is explored by the difficulty associated with meeting the society’s expectation. This is depicted in failure. Girls are forced into silly activities forced on them by the society.


Works Cited

Piercy, Marge. Barbie Doll. Red Mountain Tribe, Incorporated, 1971.

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