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Anne Ingram, Viscountess Ingram's Ideas about women in An Epistle to Mr. Pope - Essay Example

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This paper will discuss Anne Ingram's "An Epistle to Mr. Pope". It will mainly focus on the Viscountess Ingram's Ideas about women. The main idea surrounding these literary exchanges is the concept of misogyny, which could be described as hatred or a very strong prejudice shown against the female gender. …
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Anne Ingram, Viscountess Ingram's Ideas about women in An Epistle to Mr. Pope

Download file to see previous pages... Pope, at the time of Anne Ingram, was thought to hold these misogynistic views. He happened to have written many poems which depicted a woman in quite an inferior position and at times exalting the pope’s stature in relation to women.
In her illustration, she turns the tables for the pope and ends up using his own verse technique and other principles that he held against him. As we can see in numerous couplets written by Pope, there are very sharp contrasts between the characters of men and those of women. However, in her writing, Ingram uses the form of couplet in placing huge emphasis on what the female and male gender do possess in common. In her argument, Ingram states clearly that there is not much difference, if any, since both man and woman desire to have one thing, which is common: love of power, and that this motivates both male and female sexes. Interestingly, Ingram chooses to use a positivist kind of model, in which she blatantly addresses Mr. Pope as an equal with little regard to his own perceived stature, in a verse similar to the ones he uses. The most exhilarating thing that comes out clearly in her poem is the fact that she proves similar modes of thinking inherent in both man and woman. They both simply think alike (Ingram 2604 -2607). She introduces her poem with a very harsh snarl…”Pernicious dwarf! The malice of thy tongue”….. This is truly a serious dent on the pope’s character. It shows the kind of hard feelings Ingram had for the pope following his character and writings against women. It demeans his thoughts and talk. When we look at the second line of her poem, we find an insight into the future. In her thinking, she argues that if the pope were to live in a different era, such a demeaning character would definitely see him executed. This she attributes to the ill rhymes the pope writes with what she considers as his ‘poison pen’! Ingram reads nothing from this more than the pope revealing himself as the very most miserable person among all men (Ingram 2604 -2607). Feminism and enlightenment ideas about women are fully expressed by Ingram. She spoke her mind with full authority and wit, something not characteristic of women at her time. She does foreshadow Wollstonecraft’s concept of having a complete education and she further asserts that when it comes to intellect, men and women have no difference. Thus, in “An Epistle to Mr. Pope” she says: …’tis the same principle impels them both…. …what makes the difference then you may inquire… …in education all the difference lies… ….women, if taught, would be as bold and wise…” She challenges the patriarchal authority and Ingram asserts herself with expression of certain opinions she has over women in society. She thinks that women need to be treated with dignity and appreciated just like men. Her despise for poor treatment of ladies is seen when she says that pope admired Lady Mary yet when she returned, he treated her contrary to what was expected. And since then, the way Mary is referred to have always been …”disgraceful, venomous, and quite obscene”…. Ingram holds that pope fail to put into account the fact that women have a different mode of socialization when compared to men. In her argument defending women, she argues that it is not true to say women are empty vessels with no mind of their own. She ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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