Discuss why Pope does not apply the definition of wit to "The Rape of the Lock?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The definition of wit is mental sharpness, inventiveness, and keen intelligence.

This being said, Pope does not include this idea in "The Rape of the Lock." This work is a social satire. What this means is that Pope is, simplistically, poking fun at society and mankind as a whole. Therefore, the use of wit is omitted based upon the fact that Pope is illustrating the mental weaknesses of society at large.

The work, as a whole, depicts Belinda (a woman with beautiful hair) as the object of affection of the Lord Petre. He vows that he will do whatever it will take to obtain her locks for himself. Petre even goes as far as to create a shine in order for him to pray for the locks.

Basically, the lack of wit exists given the object of obsession is a lock of hair. This speaks to the simplistic minds with which Pope saw society to have.

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