“Barbie-Q” a Short Storyline by Sandra Cisneros

A short story is an extremely intriguing genre because authors are likely to convey their messages utilizing the limited amount of words – therefore, it usually is supposed that good short testimonies must be revised many times as a way to exclude odd details that not help the reader to comprehend the main idea. Nevertheless, it normally happens that everyone sees the latter in his of her own way. An important example of a short story that needs to be analyzed is Barbie-Q devoted to girls’ obsession with playthings (Cisneros, 1991).

In reference to my impression of the girls who act as the primary characters of the story, it is rather controversial. On the one hand, their dialogue about dolls, outfits, buying, and appearances can be regarded as quite typical for two girls inventing new games. On the other hand, the girls’ willingness to use plots they invent and incarnate several stereotypes related to beauty requirements, fragile friendship between women who can fight to be able to prove that they are worthy of the attention of a man definitely can make me upset because these part models do not appear in children’s mind by themselves – they are nothing more than the procreation of assumptions supported by adult people. Therefore, I understand that these girls are just common children but the particular assumptions they support trying to reflect social norms are quite disappointing.

The descriptions of dolls that the author uses are very detailed as they are necessary to demonstrate the world that both girls are living in – the world where the character of an individual can be expressed by using appearance. There is one more important thing concerning the descriptions – it is clear that girls believe that their playthings represent themselves in this sport whereas their Barbie dolls look basically the same. It is clear that, playing with their dolls, ladies from the story have an opportunity to fulfil their dreams about happier and wealthier existence.

Throughout the story, there are a large number of repetitions that are used to be able to demonstrate the ladies’ obsession with dolls and the sincere ravishment they sense when being provided with an opportunity to buy more toys.

As for the theme of the discussed tale, to me it seems that this function by Cisneros is devoted to self-esteem and the way that girls see themselves under pressure of the popular culture. Throughout the story, readers understand that the children who become primary characters are poor plus they are happy to manage to buy new toys; as well, girls understand that they participate in the class that is likely to content itself with owning destroyed things of lower good quality.

In the end, it’s important to define the way these girls can change within the next five or a decade. Personally, I believe that it’s extremely difficult to predict potential future changes linked to people’s assumptions, lifestyle, and ideals. If you ask me, it seems that you can find two variants which are equally possible. In the first place, these girls can experience sustained influence of mass culture because of the fact that its impact and the capability to attract teenagers are increasing. Nevertheless, additionally it is possible these girls will mature and understand that you’ll find nothing shameful in having a minimal income plus they are already happy just because they will have friendship and families.


Cisneros, S. (1991). Barbie‑Q.

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