Discussion questions for Sandra Cisneros‘s “Barbie-Q”
- 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?
- What values and ideals does Barbie represent/symbolize in the story? What does she offer the two girls in the story?
- Do you believe that Cisneros has some feminist concerns in Barbie-Q? If yes, explain what these concerns could be.
- What could the image of flawed/damaged dolls signify?
- 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.
- What could the story tell us about the influence of hegemonic culture over the dominated?
- Discuss whether Barbie is the embodiment of women’s oppression or liberation.
- 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