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Comparitive Essay Barbie Doll And Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Marge Percy’s “Barbie Doll” and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston present two opposing stories of how men have an overbearing and destructive effect on women. In “Barbie Doll” a young girl grows up perfectly normal, when she’s told something negative about her body she spirals downward in attempt to conform to what society sees a pretty. However Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God takes the criticism received by her first two husbands and rejects it, as to say I’ll do this for you but it means nothing to me. Men have always tried to mold women to what they think is beautiful, some fall to their games, yet some are bold enough to search for who they are and live the way they want to.

Girls grow up thinking life is a playground, it’s perfect and it won’t harm them, yet at some age that fantasy is always ruined by the overwhelming expectations men have on women. In “Barbie Doll” a young, healthy, intelligent girl becomes consumed by the idea that she has a big nose and fat legs. She tries to play coy and exercise as she is advised, but it doesn’t help the way she feels about herself. Janie was also a victim to this heartbreak, when she was quickly married off to Logan after simply kissing a boy; which in her grandma’s eyes made her a woman. Logan treated her like a mule but she never lost her feisty drive and she quickly learned marriage did not mean happiness, as she left Logan for a new guy by the name of Starks, who swept her off her feet.

Women face a challenge, do they fall to the brutality of men or do they reject their criticism and seek something worth believing in. It wasn’t long before the ideals of a male governed society suffocated the girl from “Barbie Doll”. “Her good nature wore out”, she became too critical of



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