False Reality In Marge Piercy's Barbie Doll

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Many start the day by arranging their hair, finding clothes to wear, or any other daily habit that may alter one’s image; this is all due to the way others see others. Thankfully, in today’s communities, features are not judged upon as much as four decades ago. In the setting of “Barbie Doll,” by Marge Piercy, the narrator observes a growing girl in a culture that solely focuses on aesthetics, rather than the features that genuinely make up a woman. In Piercy’s “Barbie Doll,” the girl’s society regards aesthetical characteristics far more valuable than her other various qualities and strengths, to the point where she must alter her own nature to create a false reality. This girl’s other qualities beside her looks, are displayed to be very…show more content…
As Piercy states “This girlchild was born as usual / and presented dolls that did pee-pee / and miniature GE stoves and irons / and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy (1-4).” As displayed, word “presented” indirectly portrays that the girl did not have a choice in what she wanted to play with, just a common plaything used to mold the girl to what society wanted. In addition, the author is able to describe the girl’s entire life just through a few words by gradually increasing the age of use for each of the objects the girl is “presented”- from “dolls” to “lipstick.” Just from this, it is clear that the “girlchild” is led and therefore influenced to a certain path which that is acceptable to the culture around her. Furthermore, the girl is so affected by her surroundings that when she is told “You have a great big nose and fat legs,”(5) “…she cut off her nose and legs / and offered them up”(17-18). Here, the girl ends up paying the ultimate price in order to fit into her community. The “great big nose” and “fat legs” serve as symbols of her nature and when they are dismembered, she loses a part of who she really is. Through the girl’s transformation, which is due to social pressure, Piercy creates sorrow and misery that eventually costs the young girl her life. What the author is portraying is that, because the girl’s entire life is surrounded by what she supposed to be, she felt that the only way that she would be accepted is to cut off what separated her from the

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