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Literary analysis – Barbie-Q by Sandra Cisneros – ROUGH DRAFT

Literary analysis – Barbie-Q by Sandra Cisneros – ROUGH DRAFT



Literary Analysis - Barbie-Q By Sandra Cisneros - ROUGH DRAFT

Sampsa
Rasimus
Literary
analysis
Barbie-Q by
Sandra Cisneros
ROUGH DRAFT
In Sandra Cisneros’s „Barbie-Q”, a sudden abundance of flawed Barbie
dolls makes the child
narrator accepts her own identity and discards
society’s ideals of women.
The initial storyworld is that of
materialism and perfection. What the narrator values in her dolls and what she
plays with them could be seen as a reflection of her own self image, of what
she thinks she should look like and what kind of life she should live. From the
first few lines of the story it becomes clear that the narrator of the story is
a little girl. She describes the outfits of her barbies,
as if reading from the package, to her friend. „Yours is the one with mean eyes
and a ponytail. Striped swimsuit, stilettos, sunglasses, and
gold hoop earrings.” The doll’s mean eyes reveals
the author’s critical attitude towards the ideal it represents. This attitude
also shows in the title of the story. The Narrator uses second person, as if
directly adressing the reader. Who she is talking to is never defined in the
story, but it is clear that she is talking to a fellow child. The narration mainly uses only first and
second person, which
realistically recreates the world of a little girl, where the
narrator and her friend are the only people and Barbie dolls the only things
that matter.
In the second paragraph, the girls
repeat society’s gender roles in their play: „Every time the same story. Your
Barbie is roommates with my Barbie, my Barbie’s boyfriend comes over and your
Barbie steals him, okay?” The invisible
Ken doll could be seen as the author’s way of emphasising her point about
society’s assuptions of young women’s interests. The author makes the scene
strange enough to catch the reader’s attention.
The flea
market scene describes the mundane reality of the narrator’s neighbourhood
which is contrasted with the girl’s aspirations that are projected to barbie dolls that represent a different social background
and lifestyle. The narrator lists the items in the flea markets just like she
did with her dolls: „Lying on the street next to some tool bits, and platform
shoes with the heels all squashed, and a fluorescent green wicker wastebasket,
and aluminum foil, and hubcaps, and a pink shag rug, and windshield wiper
blades, and dusty mason jars, and coffee can full of rusty nails.” This
emphasises the contrast. The initial story world is disrupted in the flea
market scene as the narrator finds flawed Barbies for sale. This scene develops
in the next paragraph as the narrator gets all the Barbies she dreamed of, only
all of them damaged by a fire.
In the last
paragraph, the narrator seems to accept her own social background as she
understands that it doesn’t matter that they can’t afford all the new Barbie dolls.
„So what if we didn’t get our new Bendable Legs Barbie and Midge and Ken and
Skipper and Tutti and Todd and Scooter and Rickie and Alan and Francie in nice
clean boxes and had to buy them on Maxwell
Street, all water-soaked and sooty.” The narrator describes
her flawed Barbie: „And if the prettiest doll, Barbie’s MOD’ern cousin Francie
with real eyelashes, eyelash brush included, has a left foot that’s melted a
little-so?” This statement could be seen as having a wider meaning, that the
child also accepts her own flaws and ends her quest for perfection defined by
society.

Literary Analysis - Barbie-Q By Sandra Cisneros - ROUGH DRAFT
Literary Analysis - Barbie-Q By Sandra Cisneros - ROUGH DRAFT
Literary Analysis - Barbie-Q By Sandra Cisneros - ROUGH DRAFT

Literary Analysis - Barbie-Q By Sandra Cisneros - ROUGH DRAFT

Literary Analysis - Barbie-Q By Sandra Cisneros - ROUGH DRAFT

  • Date: Kwiecień 18, 2013
  • Comments: 0
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