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“Barbie Doll” And “La Migra” Essay

The poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy explains about a young girl who killed herself by cutting her nose and her legs because she was tired of people criticizing her imperfect physical appearance. “La Migra” by Pat Mora explains about a Mexican woman playing “hide and run”. In “La Migra” one person was the border patrol, and the author a typical Mexican maid. The poems are very different in that they have two different topics and have two completely different tones. Putting aside the differences they have a trait in common; they are true life stories that happen to women on a daily basis.

The poem “Barbie Doll” is very different from the poem “La Migra.” It is a very discouraging poem because the destructiveness of the standards of female beauty led to the girl’s death. The young girl classmates used to make fun of her big nose and fat legs. “Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.”(line 6). She got to the point that she was not strong enough to take all the pressure, so she cut herself up and offered her legs and nose up. In the poem “La Migra,” it is a whole different concept. The Mexican woman, referred to as the Mexican maid, had a different attitude. She is a strong woman who does not get intimidated very easily. While playing the game “hide and run,” she was suppose to stay quiet while the border patrol did whatever he wanted to with her. He had the boots, the gun, the badge, and he was the authority, and there was nothing she could do about it, because he had the strength to hurt her. Then she flipped the game around, she stood up for herself as the Mexican maid who knew the desert better than the border patrol did. The border patrol had a flat tire and had no water, and he did not know a place to rest. Now she had the power: she knew where to get water, and she knew a place to rest. Since he did not understand Spanish there was nothing he could do.

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The girl in “Barbie Doll” was more quiet and innocent. She took comments to the heart no matter how false they were. She hated the fact that she did not have the perfect physical appearance that the others did. At the end when she laid in the casket, “Doesn’t she look pretty, everyone said” (line 23).This could have prevented her from killing herself at one point.

The other difference between the poems is the tone in which the poem is written. “Barbie Doll” was more of a depressing poem, and the tone helps the reader develop the emotion. It talks about the death of a young, intelligent girl who took her life away because her peers used to criticize her for not being what they call “pretty.” The tone was very disappointing, it was unbelievable that a young girl could do such thing like that due to her peers. “La Migra” had more of a humorous tone, the man tried to take advantage of her, and play the game his way, but she said “no, it’s my way now, not yours” It was very funny how she kept playing his game, but with her rules. Instead of getting mad, she stated her opinion, and was ready to play her game.

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The two poems are different, but they have one thing in common. Both stories told in the poem happen to women on a daily basis, an example would be in the poem “La Migra”. The poem talks about how in some cases border patrol officers take advantage of women who try to pass the border. Sadly it happens in real life. They mistreat them, and on some occasions they rape them. They know those poor women won’t put charges against them. The border patrol officers know that they do not speak English, and even if they did, no one would believe them. In the poem “Barbie Doll” the young girl killed herself for not having beauty the beauty she wanted. Each year hundreds of girls hurt themselves because they have no confidence in them selves. Young girls have lost their lives, trying to do diets, having plastic surgeries, and like the poems said some even cut there body themselves. It is very sad how young girls want to be perfect, but perfection does not exist.

Nobody is perfect not even models.
The two poems had similarities but also differences. They have true life stories that have happen to women. The differences are that the poems have two different topics and two different tones. One is more of a depressing poem while the other is humorous.

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“Barbie Doll” And “La Migra” Essay. (2017, Jun 16). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/literary-arts/prose/barbie-doll-la-migra-4728/

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