Lady Mary Montagu´s Travel Writing

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Lady Mary Montagu’s letters are a form of travel writing that contributes to the exploration of issues; such as feminism, gender, health, class and culture through an epistolary form. During the time in which Lady Mary Montagu wrote her letters travel was a means for commerce and trade. Contrasted to this form of travel writing, is Oscar Wilde’s Symphony in Yellow. This is in the form of a poem, which is simplistic in its structure and appearance but not in its content or meanings. The title of the poem suggests that it has a substantial connection to music; however the reader is presented with a poem centred on the narrator’s view of a location. Similar to the form of poetry Oscar Wilde’s The Harlots House explores the idea of prostitution through an in depth description of what he sees.
As a woman Lady Mary Montagu is shown as someone who breaks free from the boundaries that society imposes on her. This exploration of womanhood within society is reflected broadly in her letters. Through this form someone who develops themselves and widens their views is seen. She is illustrated as a pretentious personality who gradually whilst experiencing various situations adheres to a change of attitude. Her bravery is evident in the way she describes her endeavours at sea. According to her first letters she claims to be “less frightened of the storm in the sea than the captain...” Being a woman as well as an aristocrat gave her great status and authority as she appears to assert. Her strong minded nature causes her to see fear not as something to react to but as an illness she does not have.
There are many examples within her letters where ideas and issues are explored. It can be correct to say she begins her letters as a woman with a mind ...

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...ic brings life and joy to many here the reader sees in simple words the dead dancing. From the narrators perspective the women in the house appear to be non human and lifeless. This is a poem of passion and control, suggesting that maybe the people who are drawn to an environment such as this show a lack of it as well as losing their “soul’s inheritance” which we see his partner do towards the end.
Edouard Roditi sees the poem as a “contemporary scene... the subject has been cooperated into the form” of a poem. When focusing on the “subject”mentioned, it can be suggested that Oscar Wilde is placing Victorian society as his subject. He appears to be focusing on prostitution and in some ways questions the society that condemns it yet takes part in it. The Harlots House is a prostitute’s house and during the Victorian era would be considered as being a place of sin.

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