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Word Count: 1,021
Gender Identity in Piercys Barbie Doll Dolls often give children their first lessons in what a society considers valuable and beautiful These dolls often reveal the unremitting pressure to be young slim and beautiful in a society which values mainly aesthetics Marge Piercys Barbie Doll exhibits how a girls childhood is saturated with gender-defined roles and preconceived norms for how one should behave In order to convey her thoughts the author uses familiar yet ironic imagery as well as uses fluctuating tone in each stanza to better draw attention to the relevant points of her contention The first four lines of Barbie Doll are written in a trite simplistic tone which represent the normality and basic needs of infancy It is at this point in ones life that a child has no ability to deviate from the norm simply because they have no knowledge of it and are completely influenced by what their parents present them with The presentation of a doll and an oven along with lipstick 1-3 ensure that the girl will know exactly which gender role she must be These lines imitate the rigidity in which sexual and gender roles are defined The tone of the introductory stanza changes abruptly in line five when the speaker relates Then in the magic of puberty a classmate said You have a great big nose and fat legs What is particularly ironic is that puberty is referred to as a magic time when really it is a time for emotional crisis within many children as they struggle to develop their autonomy This line is directed in a candid fashion which digresses from the mildness of the first few lines rendering it quite more effective than simplistic speech The second stanza of Barbie Doll starts off as normal as the first but easily strays into different meaning While She was healthy tested intelligent 7 connotes positive aspects of the girl possessed strong arms
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