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Word Count: 440
Young versus old Death versus eternal life The positive effects of societys pressure versus the negative Marge Piercys Barbie Doll and Dick Schneiders Youths Progress are a study in the themes mentioned above There are many obvious similarities in the chronological structure and irony of the two works However the reader will find that there are more thought-provoking contrasts than initially meet the eye Not surprisingly the poems follow the natural course of chronological time beginning to end young to old Both poems unfold with birth continue through the growing up years but do not surpass adulthood The separation of stanzas in both works indicates a new stage of life though Piercy leaves the reader to guess the actual age of the girlchild in Barbie Doll The reader will note that a major theme of both poems is the long-term effect of outside pressure on the subjects from birth Piercy employs the stylistic device of irony throughout the entirety of her poem It required the magic of puberty for a child to point out the negative aspects of a physical body A healthy intelligent and strong woman is compelled by society to bustle to and fro apologizing apologizing for failing to mirror the image of the Barbie-like woman the world seems to want Though she attempts to defy these expectations by cutting off her great big nose and fat legs in her death the woman is displayed in her casket cosmetics painted on and a beautiful turned-up putty nose Finally she fits the mold cut for her by society Our way of life has hardly changed since a wheel first whetted a knife While Youths Progress chronicles the growth of the subject with specific years and ages Barbie Doll simply accounts for the passing of time in a story-tellers fashion of memories Barbie Doll ends with the tragedy of a woman who because she didnt live up to the unrealistic
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