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Barbie Doll, 'What Are Big Girls Made Of?'

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One of the primary concerns of feminism is, and has been for a while, not only gender inequality in social and political terms, but also the way both sexes are viewed by the society. People’s mentality is a source of stereotypes, gender stereotypes in particular. Marge Piercy, a poet and a feminist, considers these stereotypes a serious issue, which is inevitably reflected in her creativity, particularly the four poems under analysis – “Barbie Doll”, “What Are Big Girls Made Of?”, “Rape Poem” and “The Friend”. The poems “Barbie Doll” and “What Are Big Girls Made Of?” concentrate on the topic of sexualization of women and young girls. The issue that worries the author most is the way the society treats females: they are perceived as mere commodities, …show more content…
Its main motif is seeking acceptance from one’s friends, as well as bonds and borders between people close to each other. While one person is willing to do anything asked of them in order to stay friends with the ones they love, their friend are cold and reserved: “I love you, I said.”/ “That’s very nice, he said”/ “I like to be loved,” / “that makes me happy.” / “Have you cut off your hands yet?” (11-15). The relationship between the persona and their friend is undoubtedly abusive. Although the term “mental abuse” is more frequently used while discussing a romantic relationship, it can also be referred to a situation in which one of the two people is involved and eager to maintain the friendship, whereas the other one is more self-absorbed and evidently less interested. There is no explicit mental pressure in the poem, and yet it is obvious that the contact described is abusive. From the reader’s perspective, both sides are wrong: both the complete lack of involvement and the unconditional readiness to do anything for another person seem unhealthy. So accurately and sharply is the way people treat each other described that it almost makes the reader feel as if they were a witness of the situation; and, indeed, those who have experienced a relationship similar to the one in the poem will probably be touched by it even more. In “The Friend” the author is not a teacher or prophet; she does not emphasize the fact that everyone deserves to be respected, or speak about the damage resulting from this kind of relationship. “The Friend” is deeply personal, and its purpose is to express oneself rather than to educate. Thus, in this poem Marge Piercy is a person whose feelings are hurt, not a social

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