Can someone help me identify some literary devices from the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy?

One literary device you can identify in “Barbie Doll” is tone. At first, the tone is juvenile. The speaker uses words like “pee-pee” and “wee.” As the speaker grows, the vocabulary grows. There’s words like “dexterity” and “exhorted.” A second literary device is symbols. The Barbie could be a symbol for oppression or sexism. A third literacy device is irony. It’s rather paradoxical that the girl gives a toy a funeral.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

All poems contain literary devices. That is, all poems possess identifiable techniques that help convey their possible meaning. Marge Piercy’s poem “Barbie Doll” is no different. I can help you talk about some of the literary devices that specifically pertain to “Barbie Doll.”

Tone is the way in which a poem’s speaker talks. It’s their distinct vocabulary and their voice. You could say “Barbie Doll” features multiple tones. At first, the tone is a bit infantile. There’s words like “pee-pee” and “wee.” As the girl grows up, the tone becomes more adult and mature. Terms like “dexterity,” “exhorted” and “consummation” should give you a hint that the girl is developing and learning a few things about the world and what this Barbie Doll might symbolize.

Symbols can help a poet address a larger, more complicated issue, like sexism or unrealistic beauty standards. In “Barbie Doll,” you could say the Barbie serves as a symbol. It might represent...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 872 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on