What does the poem "The Lady's Dressing Room" by Jonathan Swift mean? What is the poem trying to prove? What is the message of the poem?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Like many of Swift's works, this poem is satirical. The topic of the poem is just what the title says: he's describing what happens in a lady's dressing room. However, the first lines signal the satirical approach: five hours to get ready? This is hammered home by the evocation of a goddess, as if the women were divine, an image Swift then contrasts with both agricultural byproducts (dung, hard work, smell) and a kind of industrial production. He's saying how much work it is to make women beautiful, and how disgusting the work behind the scenes is.


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