Contrast Between Satire in The Rape Of The Lock and A Modest Proposal

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Contrast Between Satire in The Rape Of The Lock and A Modest Proposal Although Alexander Pope's, "The Rape Of The Lock" and Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" are both witty satires, they differ on their style, intention, and mood. To begin, in "The Rape Of The Lock," Alexander Pope uses Horation satire to invoke a light, whimsical, melancholy mood to illustrate the absurdity of fighting over the cutting of one's hair. In fact, Horation satire is defined by K. Lukes as a device that is: " urban, smiling, witty" and "seeks to correct the human foibles." and is further reiterated in The Concise Oxford Dictionary Of Literary terms as: "Horation satire, often contrasted with the bitterness of Juvenalian satire, is a more…show more content…
Of course, such an event is viewed by Pope as foolishness: an idiotic event which has no bearing on the movement, creation, or destruction of the universe. In fact, a calamity in which the worst consequence is that Belinda has a "sister lock" that "now sits uncouth, alone" (English, 1125). Thus, the intent of Pope is not to be invective or bitter but rather to give insight to the comical nature of the event, to bring to light that the universe does not move to the cutting of one's hair and that to have such a mistaken belief is foolhardy. This mockery and satire of aristocratic society is revealed by Pope throughout the poem: Belinda is depicted as a heroine goddess whose beauty causes "The tortoise here and elephant unite, / Transformed to combs, the speckled and the white" (English,1113). Furthermore,her trinkets are depicted as being spoils and ornaments of war, as one would use to prepare for battle: "files of pins extend their shining rows, / Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, [and] billet-doux" (English,1113). This is comical in that such commoneveryday items suddenly have grave importance to the preservation and transformation of Belinda's beauty. They bring her from the mundane to God-like. Yet, the irony exists that these are just everyday items. The tortoises and elephants did not give

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