The Rape of The Lock: Lines 669-678 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 669-678. But since, alas......wins the soul

      Summary: In these lines, Clarissa concludes her plea for good humor on the part of women. Devotion to gaiety—dancing all night and dressing all day cannot make one immune from death or the smallpox. Beauty is transient and must decline one day. Hair will turn grey, whether formed into ringlets or left uncared for; the bloom on women's face will sooner or later disappear, whether they use paint or not; and she who treat a young, man with indifference will necessarily die single. What is left to women in the circumstances therefore, is to make the best use of their gifts and always to retain good humour, whatever their loss may be. Clarissa is confident that good humour can achieve what assumed demeanor, passions, cries, and railings cannot. Beautiful women may move their eyes to no purpose; for external attractions produce an immediate impression only on the sight, it is merit or real inner worth that reaches up to mark and wins the soul.

      Critical Analysis: Clarissa is the poets mouthpiece. Through her, he comments on the moral depravity of his age. He points out the importance of merit as a sure way to happiness.

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