For Teachers and Students (1): Barbie-Q (Sandra Cisneros)

Discussion questions for Sandra Cisneros‘s “Barbie-Q”sc.jpg

  1. What could Barbie’s wardrobe, e.g. Red Flair, Career Gal, Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat, Prom Pinks, suggest about a woman’s status in society?
  2. What values and ideals does Barbie represent/symbolize in the story? What does she offer the two girls in the story?
  3. Do you believe that Cisneros has some feminist concerns in Barbie-Q? If yes, explain what these concerns could be.
  4. What could the image of flawed/damaged dolls signify?
  5. Do you believe that Cisneros voices some racial concerns in Barbie-Q? If yes, explain what these concerns could be. Comment on the origin of the protagonists.
  6. What could the story tell us about the influence of hegemonic culture over the dominated?
  7. Discuss whether Barbie is the embodiment of women’s oppression or liberation.
  8. Why does Cisneros associate the title of the story with a cooking technique?

© Ali Nihat Eken, İstanbul, 2007
Photo-Source: The National Women’s Studies Association

Useful link: About Cisneros
Useful link: Advertising’s Image of Women
Useful link: Audio Interview with Cisneros

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