Slaves Of Society : The Women Of Les Liaisons Dangereuses

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Slaves of Society: The Women of Les Liaisons dangereuses With each letter in Les Liaisons dangereuses, Choderlos de Laclos advances a great many games of chess being played simultaneously. In each, the pieces—women of the eighteenth-century Parisian aristocracy—are tossed about mercilessly but with great precision on the part of the author. One is a pawn: a convent girl pulled out of a world of simplicity and offered as an entree to a public impossible to sate; another is a queen: a calculating monument to debauchery with fissures from a struggle with true love. By examining their similarities and differences, Laclos explores women’s constitutions in a world that promises ruin for even the most formidable among them. Presenting the reader glimpses of femininity from a young innocent’s daunting debut to a faithful woman’s conflicted quest for heavenly virtue to another’s ruthless pursuit of vengeance and earthly pleasures, he insinuates the harrowing journey undertaken by every girl as she is forced to make a name for herself as a woman amongst the tumult of a community that machinates at every turn her downfall at the hands of the opposite sex. In his careful presentation of the novel’s female characters, Laclos condemns this unrelenting subjugation of women by making clear that every woman’s fate in such a society is a definitive and resounding checkmate. Laclos gives ammunition to his argument by steadily demonstrating the weakness instilled in women from youth. In the

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