Portrayal Of Women

Read Complete Research Material

Portrayal of Women


The repression and limitations of the women have been the theme of many works of literature and art. Marge Piercy has also written two poems that portray the story of women and what is expected of them by the society. “Barbie Doll” and “A Work of Artifice” are the poems that are based on the subject of women and how they are depicted and portrayed. “Barbie doll” is written in the tone of sadness and depression while “A work of artifice” is written in the tone of stratagem or deception to reach a desired, although dishonest, result. Both poems have the similar subject and theme, however, the Barbie doll openly demonstrates that the poem is about women while in “A work of Artifice” the poet has discreetly referred to women through utilizing the metaphor of bonsai tree.

Thesis: Barbie Doll exemplifies some of the concepts that we see in A Work of Artifice because like the girl in Barbie Doll the bonsai tree in A Work of Artifice is always trying to achieve the perfect look or shape.


In the “Barbie Doll” Piercy uses the Barbie doll as a metaphor for women while in “A Work of Artifice,” Piercy uses the bonsai tree as a metaphor for women. The Barbie doll represents the societal and cultural expectations placed on the young girls. The poem demonstrates how the girls are expected to act and behave in a certain way. Their roles are assigned to them from an early age and the society expects them to behave in the way they are expected to. Any girl, who tries to break free from the norms and rules set for her, is considered as a girl with low character. The poem tells the sad story of a woman's life and how she struggles through the culturally acceptable role. Piercy uses Barbie as the metaphor for women and hence the title of the poem. A Barbie doll is a perfect example of the expectations of the society of women. Just like the Barbie dolls, the women of our society are expected to be perfect in everything, her looks, her dressing style, her perfect body. The young girls are presented with Barbie dolls with their miniature makeup sets, kitchen utensils and a perfect house. The young girls are demonstrated through these Barbie dolls how they are expected to act. They are supposed to keep themselves presentable at all times and maintain a perfect home. In “A work of Artifice,” Piercy has used the bonsai tree as a metaphor for women. However, in this poem, Peircy does not indicate directly whom she is referring to in this poem. The way she has described the bonsai tree shows that she is referring to the women of our society. This portrayal of women through the usage of bonsai tree as a metaphor is ingenious. Piercy indirectly and effectively compares the situation of the women in our society through using the tree's example. The metaphors usage in both the poems ...
Related Ads