Swift Attitude Towards Women Analysis

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Compare and contrast Swift's attitude to Women and Pope's. Do they share the same concerns about, anxieties toward, and critiques of women? How effectively do the women writers' challenge or undercut the men's arguments? Use specific examples in your posts. Swift and Pope differ greatly in their views on women. Looking at Swifts Christian beliefs, his writings reflected his adversity to pride and vanity. He felt these were special flaws of women. It could be argued that Swift hated women, yet he often collaborated with women. One the other hand, Pope had a genuine understanding of women; he seemingly could put himself “in their shoes”. The one issue both poets were accused of not understanding was the education of women, “Viscountess…show more content…
Even though it is a considered a satirical look at women, “Epistle 2. To a Lady” uses satire to acknowledge his compassion for the current day issues of women. He contrasts men and women in this poem, “In men, we various ruling passions find; In women, two almost divide the kind;” making fun of the current roles men and women play. He writes of women’s desire to have what men have yet he contradicts his writing, “Experience, this; by man’s oppression cursed, they seek the second not to lose the first……Yet mark the fate of a whole sex of queens! Power all their end, but beauty all the means.” He writes that they want the same rights and opportunities afforded men, but still use their “womanly” virtues to get what they want. In response to this epistle, Irwin writes, “In either sex the appetite’s the same, for love of power is still the love of fame. Women must in a narrow orbit move but power alike both males and females love.” She reproaches him by stating, “In education all the difference lies.” She goes on to make the point, “A female mind like a rude fallow lies: no seed is sown, but weeds spontaneous rise” in which she basically tells him, hey, if you don’t educate women then how you expect us to be able to fend for ourselves. Mary Leapor did not totally agree with Irwin when she wrote, “An Essay on Women”. Although she admired Pope she argued, “nor education a practical solution: wisdom makes women envious and men resentful” She argued that education of women was not the main problem with the way men think of women and why women had to use their “virtues” to gain security. She writes, “Till mighty Hymen lifts his sceptred rod, and sinks her glories with a fatal nod, dissolves her triumph, sweeps her charms away, and turns the goddess to her native clay.” She notes that women can only rely on beauty and charm for so long; once they are gone,
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