Marge Piercy Writing Styles in Barbie Doll

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A narrative poem written in free verse [verse having irregular meter, or rhythm that is not metrical], "Barbie Doll" can be read as a parable of what often happens to women in a patriarchal society. Parables are short narratives with a moral. Well-known parables are found in religious texts such as the Bible. The moral of Piercy's poem also functions as a warning: it urges readers to be aware of the ways in which society shapes our (gendered) identities and urges women not to compare themselves to idealized notions of feminine beauty or behavior.

Piercy's diction is occasionally archaic. That is, she uses words and grammatical constructions which we would not use today, for example "girlchild," "that did pee-pee", etc. By weaving these archaisms into a story told in contemporary language, the speaker achieves an effect of timeless-ness, suggesting that the instance of modern women modeling themselves after Barbie...

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This section contains 249 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Barbie Doll Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Barbie Doll from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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