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Word Count: 847
The Rape of Eighteenth Century Society In Restoration and Eighteenth Century literature the writers were more apt to express their desires and experiences on paper rather than repress their behavior and experiences that the politeness of their society prohibited The Restoration and Eighteenth Century have often been associated with placing high moral values on good manners courtesy and respect However this is only visible when looking at the society from the exterior Their preoccupation with politeness was channeled into a state of mind rather than an act An interior examination of Restoration and Eighteenth Century society illustrates a society preoccupied with the grandeur of fashion and commodities as well as holding an abstract view on moral principles Material possessions were of the utmost importance while the proper clothing and meticulous appearance became the embodiment of politeness On the outside they fit the archetype that their society expected while on the inside they fit the archetype that their society created The Rape of the Lock is a comical indictment of the vanities and redundancy of Eighteenth Century high society Based on a real life occurrence Pope intended for the poem to make light of the situation by encouraging laughter at the societies own pretenses By writing The Rape of the Lock in the form of a mock epic Pope classifies Eighteenth Century society by casting it against the greatness of an epic poem By mocking his own society Pope establishes Eighteenth Century societys inability to differentiate between what matters and what does not Pope first describes Belinda as a goddess and treats her as something heavenly Belinda authenticates this assessment by her elaborate morning ritual of getting ready for the day ahead It is ironic that Pope asserts this praise of Belinda when he is mocking a society in which the external self holds more value than the moral or intellectual self Pope continues to negate his assessments by stating that If to her share
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