The Restoration Period (1660-1700) was a period of social, political and philosophical turmoil, which laid the foundation for future centuries. This period was marked by an advance in colonization and trade and by the birth of the Whig and Tory parties. In poetry, works of Alexander Pope and Anne Finch and a number of other poets distinguishes the Restoration. But, there are several objections from these poets; one particular opposition occurs between Pope’s The Rape of the Lock and Anne Finch.
Pope was born into a Catholic family during a period of intense anti-Catholic sentiment in England. His family was forced to move because Catholics were forbid from living within a certain area of London at this time. While Pope was growing up, Catholicism affected his education although there were very few Catholic schools. His life would soon influence his writing of The Rape of the Lock. The following comes from the Twickenham Edition of Pope’s poem:
The families concerned in the Rape of the Lock – The Fermors, Petres, and Carylls—were
prominent members of that group of great intermarried Roman Catholic families owning land in the home countries. Most of whom came within the circle of Pope’s friends and acquaintances and to whom Pope considered his own family to belong. Some time before 21 March 1712, when Pope sold his poem to Lintott, Robert, Lord Petre had cut off a lock of Arabella Fermor’s hair, and John Caryll had suggested to Pope that he should write a poem to heal the estrangement that followed between the two families. (Twinckenham 83)
Alexander Pope is responsible for one of the most comic poems of the eighteenth century, The Rape of the Lock. This poem was written s...
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importance in writing about her own pain, while Pope finds it important to write about others pain. He writes about the pain of Belinda and Baron.
In conclusion, there are several examples, as one can observe, of Finch’s objection to The Rape of the Lock. The life and beliefs of these two authors were entirely different and this seems to be the major reason Finch may have objected to Pope’s poem.
Cunningham, J.S., ed. The Rape of the Lock. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1966.
DeMaria, Robert, ed. British Literature. Massachusetts:
Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1999.
Goldgar, Bertrand, ed. Literary Criticism of Alexander
Pope. New York: University of Nebraska Press,
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