Exposing the Two-Facedness of the World in Barbie Doll and Rite of Passage

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

Barbie Doll, written by an American writer Marge Piercy, is a kind of narrative poem and it was published in 1971 when the second wave of feminism was active. The theme of this poem was to highlight the message that how a society develops expectations from a female and pressurizes her. In this poem, a girl dies because of the society’s expectations. The poem starts with a little girl, and then it highlights the events happened through her whole life. Basically, the poem points out the feminist issues such as masculine society, gender stereotypes and sexism.

The poem starts with the birth of a girl, who is immediately provided with toys such as “stove” and “doll to change diapers” and she is provided with an image of her future responsibilities. When the girl enters her puberty, she is embraced with remarks of her classmate such as ‘big nose’ or ‘fat legs”. She felt like she never been appreciated, and it sparked that fire of insecurity inside of her. In the other half of poem, poetess writes that the girl cuts her nose and legs to present them to the world and dies. People reconstructed her face with a ‘turn-up nose’ and “dressed in a pink and white nightie” in her casket, like a barbie doll which resembles beauty and perfection, the writer ironically mentioned that she has died with the happy ending all women desire.

Rite of Passage, written by a famous modern poet Sharon Olds, whose poems are enriched with the immenseness of family, violence and physical body. In this poem she has critically analysed the impact of a mother on her young son that the mother forecasts the urge of her son to take control of his life and become an aggressive person. The poem describes the danger which arises in the mother’s mind when she heard the aggressive sentences like “I could beat you” and “I can kill a two-year-old” from children of just first grade.

Poem describes the scene of a first-grade birthday of a child where boys just try to compete each other in the regard of power and shows off their strength of taking the other child down. The mother just spectates and listens to the children who are eager to show off their manhood. The poet resembles the young children with Generals that they are thin and weak but thinking like Generals and playing wars. She resembled the folded arms and frowning of children with the bankers. She used a sarcastic approach to provide her personal point of view on the behaviours of young children.

In the comparison between both the poems, Marge Piercy has her approach towards the feminism and Sharron Olds describes the nature of young children based on her personal experiences. Barbie Doll provides a statistical approach towards the world’s viewpoint about a female that the world only teases a female with showing her feministic responsibilities and always point out the flaws in the females. Rite of Passage describes the aggressive nature of young children at a birthday party where they are eagerly waiting to show their anger and wanting to take the control of their life. Both the poems have same analytical approaches towards two different aspects of life.


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