The eighteenth century was an era where a woman’s role in society consisted of specific expectations. Women were often held to a higher double standard and were shamed in the public if they did not confide to the standards. During this time a woman was being judged by three distinct characteristics; wealth, beauty and virtue. A woman who was in possession of these qualities were the most desirable. The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope, and the “Epistle from Mrs. Young to Her Husband” written by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu are both works of literature discussing the controversial issues revolving a women’s sexuality and desires. Where the value of a woman in society is being displayed through her reputation and double standards. Both pieces of literature allow the reader to examine society’s view on women though a female’s perspective.
The Rape of the Lock, written by Alexander Pope is a poem discussing the expectations society has of women during the eighteenth century. Throughout the poem we see Pope manipulating traditional gender roles through the character Belinda. A woman who in society’s standards is privileged with the most desirable attributes such as wealth and beauty. However, Belinda has one short coming that can’t be ignored. Her reputation, during the eighteenth century women were expected to get married while and keep their reputation and vanity. A woman without a good reputation is considered to be the least desirable. The poem discussed the issues of