A Critical Reflection on a Graphic Commentary from the story “Barbie-Q”

By creating this graphic commentary I was able to expose in drawing what Sandra Cisneros really is portraying through the appearances of the Barbie dolls that are described. This graphic commentary gives readers a picture to clearly see what society wants women to look like. Society is portraying women to be this “ideal” person with a skinny waist and long legs which is not ideal at all. Barbie dolls are sold to thousands of children that are drawn in to the idea that this is the way a woman is supposed to look. From this Barbie doll, it has the child thinking when they get older that they have to be skinny in order to be beautiful in society’s eyes. Toy makers have recently made a realistic Barbie doll for children. This Barbie doll is shorter with a thicker waist, neck, and also shorter and thicker legs. Evidence has shown that this is ideally what a healthy 19 year old woman should look like.

In Cisneros story there are two little girls and their family has very little money. The little girls own a Barbie each and only have one outfit for each with a sock dress that they made. Their parents can not afford to get any other Barbie’s for them however, there was a fire at the local toy warehouse and they were selling the toys that survived the fire. The girl’s were able to get Barbie’s friends and the Bendable Legs Barbie. These Barbie’s did not come in new boxes instead they were all soaked with water and smelled like smoke. Also, “Barbie’s MOD’ern cousin Francie with real eyelashes, eyelash brush included, has a left foot that’s melted a little-so?” (184). This quote from Cisneros shows that even though Barbie’s cousin Francie having a melted foot does not take away her beauty. The two girls still loves the way she looks. Even with all the Barbie’s that are waterlogged and smell like smoke the girls love them just the way they are. This is why I decided to draw a graphic commentary of this example in the book. It portrays the drawings perfectly. Children and adults do not have to look like the perfect body toy makers have made her to be with a skinny waist and long legs. Instead, society should love which ever form a woman comes in. I chose this story because of this Cisneros issue she addresses discreetly through this example and I could portray this message through my drawing.

Work Cited

Sandra Cisneros. “Barbie-Q”. The Story and Its Writer. Compact 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston:
Bedford/St. Martin’s. 183-184.


Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis:
“Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” and “Hills Like White Elephants”
There are a lot of similarities and differences presented in “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” written by Russell Banks and in “Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway. Both stories have been told in a discreet manner that both couples are dealing with pregnancy. Whether or not the characters should go through with abortion or to keep the child is shown throughout each story.
Banks and Hemingway has told the readers in a discreet way that the characters in both stories are in a situation that their significant other is pregnant. The author does not come out and tell us this, “I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to”(418). The author did not tell the readers this clearly because the topic of abortion is a sensitive subject with people’s opinions. Some may be opposed of this topic and would make the person not want to continue reading either story. In each story there is evidence that one character wants the child and the other does not. In “Hills Like White Elephants” the man is more opposed with not having the child and the woman wants to keep the child. In Banks’ story the woman does not want the child. There is also proof that she is harming the child by putting tanning lotion on which can have risk on you and your baby in developing cancer. The setting of Banks’ story is set in 1981 so the woman however more than likely does not know she is harming herself and the baby.
In each of these stories the characters are presented with choices. Both of the choices indicate going through with abortion or deciding to keep the child. In the story, “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” the black man and white woman are in the middle of the lake in a rowboat and have a decision of going back to the trailer park or to go to the island. If the two decided to go back to the trailer park it indicates that the two are deciding to go forth with abortion. If they were to go to the island, it indicates that they would not have any worries and would keep the child. The man also referred to the island as it would keep the woman safe. The man said, “I wish I could just leave you here”(66) the man wants to keep the woman safe and wants to have the child. However, the woman wanted to go back to the trailer park.
In the other story, “Hills Like White Elephants” they have a choice between getting on the train or staying at the station. By getting on the train it indicates that they are going to go through with the abortion and by them staying at the station it shows the readers that they are going to keep the child. The man makes it very clear that he wants to get on the train:
“Of course it does. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want any one else. And I know it’s perfectly simple”(419).
That statement to the woman persuades her to follow and get on the train with him. By the man saying, “I don’t want anybody but you” and “I don’t want any one else” he is discreetly expressing that he really only wants to be with her and he does not want a child at all.
Although both stories show a lot of similarities, there are differences as well in the each story. In Banks’s story there is an interracial relationship between the characters. In his story he has a black man and a white woman. Banks never tells the readers the characters names as well. He just refers to them as “the man” or “the woman”. This could be an example of racial issues with the author as well as, “If Daddy were alive, it would be different, Daddy…. Hated niggers” (64). This quote is another example of racism. The way the author described this issue with the white woman’s family and the black man shows this idea. The white woman’s dad would have strongly disliked the man she was with because of his ethnicity proven by the quote above.
Based on the stories textual part, Banks’s story is by far more detailed than Hemingway’s. In Banks’s story it gives the readers detailed description about what each character is doing, “she examined her light brown skin and stroked it and rubbed the oily, sweet-smelling fluid onto it”(63). This is one example of the description of each character. He continues to go on descriptively throughout the whole story. The readers can also observe this statement in the each title. One is more detailed than the other, that being Banks’ story. In “Hills Like White Elephants” it is very vague. As well with the content, the author is not straightforward in his writing. The characters conversations are even short and not a whole lot to them. This could be because of the authors style of writing or the reason of the shortness to the characters dialogue may be because Hemingway is trying to keep the topic of abortion discreet throughout the story.
In Banks and Hemingway’s stories they present the readers with similar situations and choices that the characters have to make. Both authors discreetly tell the readers that the situation is about pregnancy. Even though the situations in each story are very similar, the characters feel differently about each others views. In the end, they both choose to go through with abortion.

Works Cited
Banks, Russell, “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat”, The Story and
Its Writers, Compact 9th ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 62-67. Print.
Hemingway, Ernest, “Hills Like White Elephants”, The Story and Its Writers, Compact 9th ed. Ann
Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 416-419. Print.

Joshua Bennett: Interview

I went to visit Joshua Bennett during his interview with a student here, at Lenoir-Rhyne. Bennett was asked a good amount of questions and as he said the questions were very hard and some of the best questions he has been asked during an interview.

Joshua Bennett is a very humbled man about his success. He told us that he is a very honest writer and writes about the present. He does not try to write about how we has 5 years ago. He stressed to us how to find new material it is important to not chase the old artistic self but to look at yourself now. Also, he found that it is easier as a spoken word artist it is very, very important to trust your audience.

For the longest time he was afraid to talk about the touchy subjects of race. He didn’t want to offend anyone so he left it out of his work. Them he realized that this is the only time he is going to leave an impression on these people. This is the only time that they are going to see him as himself. He felt like he had to hide part of himself because he was afraid. So he just started talking about it and people who had followed him regularly with his work came up to him and told him it was such a pleasure to see him transition from how we was to now.

Out of all the writers I have seen at this school, which is a small amount, he was by far the best because of how real and honest he was. He was such a humbled man.

Barbie-Q analysis

Analysis of “Barbie-Q”: How society portrays women

In the short story, “Barbie-Q”, written by Sandra Cisneros, she describes how there are two little girls that are obsessing over Barbie dolls. Each Barbie doll that the girls receive are flawed in their own way due to a toy warehouse on Halsted Street burning down. The only reason the two little girls got all of Barbie’s friends and sibling dolls was because of the flea market having a sale on the Barbie dolls from the burnt down warehouse. Cisneros expresses through her story about society portraying women to be perfect and materialistic where in reality women are not perfect and they do have flaws.

Cisneros does show that the girls Barbie dolls are flawed in some way. However, the author also conveys that these two girls are growing up with their parents not having a lot of money to get Barbie a new outfit whenever the girls want one, “This and a dress invented from an old sock when we cut holes here and here, the cuff rolled over for the glamorous, fancy free, off-the-shoulder look” (184). This quote reveals that the girls are overcoming the battle with materialistic items and “that image” society has on women. They can make do with what they have and do not have to worry about having the next “hot” item. Cisneros shows how they can make do with what they have by telling the readers that each of them only have one outfit a piece until next Christmas. The two girls may not be pleased by it however they would rather have one outfit than none at all so they are thankful. This example could also convey Cisneros childhood growing up. She very well may have expressed the way it was as a child growing up with very little money to do or get things that she wanted to so bad.

During the flea market the two little girls finally get the full package. They finally get the Bendable Legs Barbie, Midge, Ken, Skipper, , Todd, Scooter, Ricky, Alan, and Francie. The girls are the happiest they’ve ever been about their “new” dolls. However, the dolls are not exactly “new”. They smell like smoke and are soaked in water. The dolls did not come out of a new package. Cisneros wants the readers to see that society wants women to have the perfect body, hair, clothes, etc. which is conveyed through the description of the Barbie dolls not being in that condition when the girls bought them. The author also demonstrates how society wants women to cover up what is not “acceptable” to the public, “Barbie’s MOD’ern cousin Francie with real eyelashes, eyelash brush included, has a left foot that’s melted a little-so? If you dress her in hew new ‘Prom Pink’ outfit, satin splendor with matching coat, gold belt, clutch, and hair bow included, so long as you don’t lift her dress right?-who’s to know”(184).  This is a perfect example of covering up something that is not acceptable in societies eyes. A common experience that everyone probably has had is acne. If a woman or young lady gets a pimple they are going to want to hide it with makeup because it is not flattering in society to have acne all over ones face. Same with Francie’s melted foot. The little girls are not wanting others to see Francie’s foot because then it will not be like every other girls doll. Again, Cisneros may have told her life through this part of the story as well. During her teenage years she may have gotten teased from other teenagers or even women about what she wore or how her lifestyle was.

Cisneros demonstrates throughout “Barbie-Q”, societies way of having an ideal image of women. That being materialistic and perfect, women having beautiful long hair with the perfect wardrobe to go along with the perfect body and having the perfect man. On contrary that is not how women are. Not everyone is rich. Women come in all different forms being tall or short, having long or short hair, and also rich or poor. There is no “perfect” woman out there. The story “Barbie-Q” very well could have been her way of expressing the hardships she had to overcome from society.

Work Cited

Sandra Cisneros. “Barbie-Q”. The Story and Its Writer. Compact 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston:

Bedford/St. Martin’s. 183-184.


Declining by Degrees

In class on November 13, 2013 my classmates and I watched a movie called, Declining by Degrees. This movie was about college students who do enough to “just get by” in college. A man went a visited Universities in different areas of the United States and talked to students and professors. The first school he visited was Western Kentuckty. He talked to an incoming freshman who was the first of his family to go to college. He worked hard and studied but was doing average. Nothing speical, however. One of the Macroeconomics professor told us that he gave a cruve on his tests for those(a lot) who failed. He did this because if he started failing everyone it could effect himself as a professor. At Arizona University we met several college students who barely did anything and managed to pass their classes with minimum work they had to do. We viewed a class that had a good amount of people in it. It was a lecture and with there being so many people in the class all the students really had to do was read for homework and maybe 4 students out of 40 did there work. The professor, who taught the class, has been working there for a long time now. She told the interviewers that she didn’t understand why, not just her students, but students in general are not curious anymore. Students are just willing to do the minimum work to get by and get their degree. Students at Arizona agree to what she had to say also.

I would have to say that Lenoir-Rhyne University is a lot different to both of these Universities. I think that it has to do a lot of it being a smaller college versus a big one. In our classroom we have smaller sizes whereas in a bigger school you have up to 100 people in a class. I think we get more work also because of that. I know for myself, I already have done more work than some of those students the video interviewed. I have already done more than 4 papers and its only my first semester here. Whereas in the video, they talked to a student from Arizona that did about 4 papers their whole time at that University. I definitely think that this video so far with the selected schools are way different from Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Non-Required Reading

So I recently read an article about a NFL football star, Adrian Peterson. For those who do not know which team he plays for, he plays for the Minnesota Vikings. His son of 2-years-old died of head injuries because of abuse. Adrian’s ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend was watching over him when this occurred. Joseph the current boyfriend was a, “27-year-old man had been charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault on accusations of abusing”(O’Brien). My question is, how can you live with yourself after abusing a child. Yeah, this child was not his actual son but he is still an innocent defenseless young boy. That is another point that is great. The son was completely defenseless. This country really needs to get this under control. How many times is it going to take for someone to stop this. Another thing, not trying to take anything away from Adrian Peterson’s loss but the only time children that get abuse or die are publicized is if they are the child of a famous/well-known person. You rarely hear about them because it really isn’t a “big” enough deal for the whole world to know about. Adrian Peterson’s half brother and brother died before each of his games he still played the next day. He did the exact same for his son. Although his loved ones died he played for them.

O’Brien, Brendan. “Report: Son, 2, of NFLer Dies after Suspected Abuse.” Editorial. 2-year-old Son of Adrian Peterson Dies in Assault. MSNnews, 12 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.

Reading journal quatation

So I was online doing my non-required reading and found an article about Iowa granting gun permits to blind people. Yes, I know what you’re thinking they are actually letting blind people control and have a gun to use. How and why would this get passed? A blind person cannot see objects, how can they shoot a gun? A person from the article that was blind commented, “When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary,”(Barber)(USnews). Barber was saying how blind people can see blurry objects. However, just because a person can see a blurry object… how do they know it is the right object/person at all? I do not think it was smart at all to allow Iowa to pass this. I sense that there will be a lot of issues. On the other hand I understand that they need to be able to protect themselves somehow if they were ever in a situation harming them. Just because blind people have a disability, shouldn’t mean they don’t have rights to certain things just like the rest of us. Although maybe their rights should be limited to gun rights considering you can kill someone with a gun. I suppose we will have to see how this new granting of gun permits will go over.