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Alexander Pope's Criticism of Upper Class Women in 'The Rape of the Lock'

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Alexander Pope’s ‘The Head Thief’ has a satirical and often despicable view of the role of women in 17th-century English society, where the Pope enjoys the superficial nature of aristocratic society, but with a particular focus on women’s rituals. His humor is often uncomfortable and shows broader views and interpretations than the values of women in society Not so serious by many standards Concentrating on certain negative events the Pope should make young women feel right dispels the rage and changes the entire episode into a funny fiction, where the Pope turns this event (unlocked) into a mock epic, ridiculing Belinda and discounting her value, succeeding in alienating women, especially Belinda. Alexander Pope opens the humorous mock epic The Rape of the Lock with the poem ‘A Powerful Contest That Happens in Trivial Things.’

From the beginning, Pope presents his position on a poetry-based case. .. Throughout the city, the Pope can satirize the shortcomings of bourgeois society by cunningly observing and commenting on the epidemic of narcissism and the obsession with public imagery. Religious image of wastefulness, nymph symbolism and exaggerated hair treatment are devices that make up the pope’s ridiculous comments that simultaneously ridicule all traditional grand structures and minor social priorities. .. The traditional interpretation is that after the actual incident (2233) associated with the Pope stealing his hair, ‘I wrote this story, hoping that a little laugh would help heal the bumpy nature.’ The editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature argues that readers need to ‘compare the little and the great’ (2233) for Ali through the Pope’s simulated heroic epic style.

The Pope says, ‘Laughs this world and its creatures, and remembers the darker and darker world surrounding it (3.19-24,5.145-48), but he makes us very conscious of its beauty and charm’ (2234) . Unfortunately, I can’t live up to this debate because the Pope doesn’t seem to be taking the case seriously. Instead, he uses it as an opportunity to criticize women and enjoy traditional women’s ideas and practices. I really saw a moment when male superiority threatened or ridiculed in any way. The Pope is writing an epiglot directed towards Mr. Arabella Palmer, a woman involved. It is suggested that the poem was published at her request, but in reality one of his boyfriends writing this poem was proposed as Pope (2234). By suggesting otherwise, the Pope appears to have asked Mr. Palmer what he enjoyed, and even mocked. If the Pope’s intention was to unite two discordant families (Sir Tres and Fermas) by providing a story that the two could laugh at together (Pope 2233), he is terribly disappointed. It’s unclear whether Mr. Farmer enjoyed this story and ended his anger, but from a late 20th century perspective, insulting someone who wasn’t very strong is unlikely to have a positive impact. From the story, you may know that the nobles of this period were living a fairly frivolous life. Women spent most of their day preparing for social functions (5.19).

Beauty is very important, appearance is also important both physically and socially. The beauty of this poem cannot be overstated. The Pope said, ‘If she shares the fault of a woman look at her face, then you will forget everything’ (2.17-8). The beautiful woman Belinda can be considered more honest than others simply because of her physical characteristics. Showing social elegance and attractiveness is more important than being able to tell a woman to be intelligent. Despite being prepared to dismiss this life as useless, useless, you can see that this woman is taking her roles and duties very seriously. It is also very clear that this type of behavior was expected of women, and that women who did not comply were unwelcome outcasts. For example, Sylph is preparing a war for Belinda to preserve her beauty and purity, and a great punishment is threatened for the fairy not protecting these virtues (2.91-136).

The means of women’s self-esteem and social freedom are found through the realization of a culturally desirable social life full of rituals and customs of behavior between men and women. When describing Belinda’s beauty routine, the Pope writes that ‘the inferior shamantrembling by her altar will initiate a sacred ritual of pride’ (1.127-8). Self-esteem for women is gained through a sense of beauty. When Belinda suddenly has to deal with hair loss, she experiences huge numbers and public shame. She said, ‘Oh, if I remained unpraised some islands of love and far north … My charm was hidden in my mortal eyes.Like a rose blooming and dying in the desert. (4.153-158) She wants to hide her face in the numbers hidden from society. Belinda’s priorities can be confusing in today’s society. However, the fact that this is a lifestyle offered based on her position still remains. A polite way of life as a woman was the best opportunity for a happy life. Belinda, of course, talks about such ‘minor’ issues, and only then. Her only means of livelihood and success was shattered by ‘rock rape.’ Like many rape victims and women socialized in today’s society, Belinda is trying to rationalize the case by blaming herself. She remembers how she was warned of her destiny in advance, but decided to ignore the opposite sex. She says she should know better (4.165-166). Here, a woman not only blames herself, but also confesses her internalized stupidity, meaning her inferior position. She aloud in the pain she was experiencing, ‘Oh, cruel!’ (4.175-6). It’s not that hard to see the sexual shading here.

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Belinda likes to sexually rape her head, which would have suffered as much as private humiliation than publicly cutting off her precious hair. Due to this incident, Belinda’s public as well as her personal life were polluted. Everyone can clearly understand that Belinda has this big flaw. It is as if a crimson u201cAu201d is engraved on the chest. Her ‘defects’ became apparent to everyone. Therefore, the victim is again sacrificed to society. For this reason, Belinda, it is unfair to the Pope to draw a one-sided picture of this illness in this case. From the Pope we have no idea of u200bu200bfemale character development and all references to Belinda’s personality are negative. We display a picture of a man who is unrequited love. The man in this story, as the title of the time suggests, is not a rape, but a victim of a love bug biting into Belinda’s sharp eyes. Like today’s tendency to blame rape victims, we condemn Belinda’s embarrassment and brutal wit. It is her fault that a man cannot control himself around her. She is full of beauty, too, cunning seduction. Women are expected to remain pure and pure in order to protect their honor, but women who reject men are considered rude and malicious. The MadonnaProstitute issue unfolds throughout this story.

There are many references to Belinda’s virginity as her refusal is to pay full attention. The Pope said, ‘She must die to a maid who looks down on a man.Then only the power we have available and what we lose still keeps good humor? (5.28-30). The virtues of are to expect misery and no spouse. Similarly, according to the Pope, women learn to ridicule their victims and secondary positions because there is little that can be prevented naturally. is needed. Morality stipulates that if she has to be punished, she does not have to set straight to her ‘right’ digit, as Belinda earns in card games and shows pride in winning men in the men’s realm. I will. The lesson is clear. Women should not be equal to men. Related here, the masculine peer does not regret his actions. He tells Belinda, ‘I won, but my hand is my mouth forever.’ He said with a proud victory and spread her long-headed honor ‘(4.138-140). He is ridiculing Belinda and sacrifices her further challenge with his blatant contempt for her body as a personal property. The head is used as a prisoner of war or as a loot for war. This hair symbolizes Belinda (all women) as a clear victim and loser in this war between men and women. Like today’s rape, Peer, Belinda, has the right to own her body. By ridiculing this fact, the Pope exempts this man from his responsibility and shows that these violations are acceptable. When the Pope conjured a fairy at the beginning of the verse, he wrote to Ariel in the sprite ‘Sylph the Pious Maid, beware!’ (1.112-114).

Men should be considered women who are feeling at least a little insecure. It is expected that women’s roles as victims and assistants or other naturalized victims of male violence or irrational behavior can be naturalized and internalized. More generally, the Pope looks back on this story and shows how the woman made the mistake of defeating a man and a woman in a fight for her strongly implied sense of inferiority. The Pope focuses on women’s shortcomings and weaknesses and uses them to explain and justify women’s secondary status in society. In Canto 5, Pope details the fighting of war and judges the value of men and women. He said, ‘Love now hangs his gold scales that suck my wind.Weighs the wisdom of a man with female hair. A suspicious ray nods from side to side. It is based on the intellect of men and the beauty of women. Women should be evaluated based on their physical characteristics, not their brains. This fact further confuses the ridicule style of the Pope. He mocks Belinda and other women for their consciousness of their beauty, despite the fact that this is how they will judge them. Does the pope make fun of anyone who can read a book or practice his speech law skills? Never! The Pope’s attitude toward women is evident from the beginning of the poem. In a letter to Farmer Arabella, he writes: . ‘(2234). He also states that the nature of ‘modern women’ makes it appear that ‘the behavior itself is not so trivial but always the most important’ (2234). Given the wider social impact that would allow this kind of behavior, this behavior is not that trivial. It is a serious injustice to abuse and beat the character of women by giving them free domination of male society. Mr. Farmer is justified by protecting himself from the predatory will of anger, egocentric men.

Unfortunately, the Pope does not have the same idea. While portraying Belinda’s anger, the writer has put a lot of effort into portraying her as a witch with almost supernatural traits. Pope uses the Cave of Spleen, a kind of virtual reality hell, to explain the subsequent discussion between Belinda and Peer. He talks more about Amazon-type women deletless who enjoy fighting. It is interesting that even Thaletris ‘burns more than the wrath of death’ (4.93) feels some doubt as to whether to help Belinda. Taretoris says he already understands that Belinda’s loss of honor was immediately defamed and blossomed by the act (4.105-116). They either have to abandon her or face this type of decline in order to maintain their social face. Taretoris must make sure she’s worthy to help Belinda. Taretoris retains masculine characteristics and tends to agree with some norms determined by men, but rejects customs determined by men or other men. Therefore, she is the most terrifying form of woman that should be despised by men. Taretoris is not presented as such, but represents a truly free woman, an early feminist character. Thatletris’ personality is divisible by other female characters, and is simply used to portray a female vengeful grumpy character that is completely illogical. Her feminist standards may be rejected today because of her rejection of femininity and contempt for ‘feminine’ women.

But she represents the only strong female role in the story. The militaristic notions of Taretoris’ life and her unrestrictedness led her to regard Belinda as ‘rude’ (5.36). She cannot accept Belinda as her fellow sister, and is free to make her own personal choices, but she must reject her for some reason though. In conclusion, the Pope describes a society that lacks morality and is overwhelmed by vanity. He satirizes social class with a sense of exaggerated self-importance. From his explanation, it can be inferred that women in high society at the time played little or no important role, as their shallow purpose and their main concern was social status. It is these qualities that moved men to engage in frivolous fights. The victor is the one who achieves a high social status. The Pope recognizes that women have a far greater capacity for sympathy by condemning the social customs that have created them in such a way, despite explaining that women understand little or no reward. It can also be inferred from the ridicule of the pope’s social customs that the 18th century was probably a period when religious influence was declining. Thus, in the eyes of Catholics, it can be concluded that the ridicule of the papal society is a product of the religious stagnation of society. Overall, the pope’s characterization of women and his satirical account of this event paint a very negative picture of women. Women are witty, unreliable, illogical, and, most importantly, inferior to men. The Pope mocks Belinda (Mr. Palmer)’s anger and doesn’t seem to understand why a woman is so upset about such ‘trivial’ issues. He does not respect women’s autonomy and is in favor of the perception of a woman’s MadonnaProstitute. Rape of Rock only helps perpetuate negative stereotypes and generalizations about women’s personality that cause great injustice to women. Finally, through Belinda, you can see that women of the higher society of the 18th century were mainly admired by its beauty. It can be inferred that women at the time, at lavish parties and frivolous endeavors, were giving up on pursuing social activities and perhaps academic education. Thus, women in the early 18th century served as a symbol of social status based on the beauty of their appearance. Despite the fact that the Pope satirizes women, one can see his irony critique as a means of defending women’s rights. By satire of modern women’s behavior, the Pope encourages readers, especially women, to humorously accept their criticisms and seriously consider their pursuits. Therefore, the disagreement with the Pope’s heroic couple provides another light and stimulus.

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Alexander Pope’s Criticism of Upper Class Women in ‘The Rape of the Lock’. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from
“Alexander Pope’s Criticism of Upper Class Women in ‘The Rape of the Lock’.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
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Alexander Pope’s Criticism of Upper Class Women in ‘The Rape of the Lock’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from:
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