21 May 2014
A Woman’s Point of View
Throughout the history of literature men and women have been portrayed quite differently. Men tend to be depicted as strong, powerful, and wise human beings who enjoy being in control of situations. Whereas women tend to be seen more as gentle and even sometimes foolish individuals who are expected to conform, obey, and to most importantly, bear children. Throughout the 1900s and the early 2000s many female poets have written works illustrating the difficulties in which women are forced to go through; these difficulties are due to the way females have been portrayed by society for hundreds of years.
Many female poets have become well known for their brilliant depictions of the life of a woman who is dealing with the struggles brought on by society. A few of these intelligent poets include: Marge Piercy, Linda Pastan, and Gwen Harwood. Marge Piercy is the author of the poem “Barbie Doll”. This poem illustrates the life of an average girl struggling to meet everyone’s expectations, but most importantly, she struggles to be “pretty”. Linda Pastan is best known for her poem “Marks” which is about a considerate woman who’s family feels the need to grade her on everything she does for them. Lastly, Gwen Harwood wrote the poem “In the Park”. This poem describes a mother’s encounter with a man who may be the unspoken father of her children. In front of the man, the mother does her best to appear happy, but when the man leaves she allows it to be known that the happiness was a lie. These three poems have many similar themes, most of which depict the life of a women to have to purpose of pleasing others (mostly men) and being “pretty”.
Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” opens with the following stanza:
This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a...