Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

"Barbie Doll" was written in the seventies, and we know how "free" folks were looking to be back then. So it makes sense that Piercy would opt for free verse over a particular rhyme and meter for h...

Speaker

Our speaker of "Barbie Doll" sounds like she's straight out of a modern fairytale and on a mission to turn the whole damsel-in-distress motif on its head. The girlchild is a kind of Sleeping Beauty...

Setting

Since we're dealing with Barbie and miniature GE stoves, it's safe to assume that we're in North America somewhere, although we don't get any specifics. Of course Barbie exists in other places too,...

Sound Check

The speaker of "Barbie Doll" sounds like the narrator of a modern fairytale, so we can expect that the poem will sound the same in a lot of ways. In fact, the poem reads more like a story than a po...

What's Up With the Title?

What's up with the title? Everything's up with the title. The imagery and subsequent ideas associated with a "Barbie Doll" immediately get us thinking about what's considered "normal" for young gir...

Calling Card

Piercy really does it all: poetry, fiction, cyber-punk, you name it. But one thing is consistent throughout her work—a feminist angle that explores the problems of being a woman, artist, and pers...

Tough-o-Meter

Since "Barbie Doll" reads more like a dark fairytale than a poem, it doesn't take a whole lot of decoding to figure out what's going on. The speaker keeps it all rather simple for us without fancy...

Trivia

In another Piercy poem, "strong women" are "pushing up on the bottom of a lead coffin lid." Thank goodness they're not Barbie dolls. (Source.)Want to know more about the so-called "perfect woman" C...

Steaminess Rating

If it weren't for the sexy nightie and the sexual connotations that go along with it, "Barbie Doll" would've gotten a G rating. Plus, the speaker isn't shy about the girchild's "sexual drive," so t...
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