The Rape of The Lock: Lines 79-86 - Summary & Analysis

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Lines: 79-86. Some nymphs there.....salutes their ear.

      Summary: Having described the manner in which sylphs guard the chastity of melting maids in the midst of strong temptations, Belinda's guardian spirit points out how women, much too conceited about their beauty, are treated by the supernatural beings. These women cannot enjoy the love of this kind, they are foredoomed to be embraced throughout life by the aerial beings styled the gnomes. In order to keep these women away from the love of man, as a monopoly for themselves the gnomes fill their heads with inordinate pride and ambition, so that they reject all proposals of love or marriage, because of the pernicious influence of the gnomes; vain ideas infest the brain and no heed is paid to the courtesies or overtures of the highest of the land—peers and dukes and all their sweeping train with a lavish display of decorations are ignored by them.

      Critical Analysis: Mark the phrase 'vacant brain' that Pope employs here. He lays bare the attitudes of the women of his age. The craze to get the most eligible lord (who has great wealth) as their husband, teach these petty-minded women to become flirts at a very early age.

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