Swift’s “A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed” was written in and most likely takes place in during the 1730s, in Georgian England. At the time, English society was much more accepting of prostitution than it was generally in later periods, often given leniency in legal prosecution and regarded fairly well by the urban poor (Robinson). The concept of prostitution was widley regarded as a necessary part of society due in part to the economic struggles of the urban poor, which was what social class the majority of prostitutes were from (Robinson). This more positive s...
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...nizing the aspects of truth behind the lives of Corinna and ‘Melia lies in the theme both of these poems can be interpreted as having when read together. Through Swift’s bawdy lyrics, the truth of the conditions of some prostitutes’ lives is brought to life; there are prostitutes and sex workers who live tortuous lives, suffering much like how the Victorians believed these “fallen women” to have suffered. In Hardy’s poem, there is the overarching notion that not everything is as it appears to be; ‘Melia is “ruined”, having lost her sexual morality, yet she seems to be very content and successful in life. Both of these poems present very important stances. The glamorous side of prostitution cannot be allowing for the grimy parts of it to be overlooked, and in turn, the ugly sides of the issue cannot overpower the good that can come from prostitution as a career choice.
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