Analysis Of The Emulation Poem By Sarah Fyge Eagerton

Analysis Of The Emulation Poem By Sarah Fyge Eagerton

The current paper aims to analyze The Emulation poem written by Sarah Fyge Eagerton in accordance with the social changes of the 18th century in Britain. There is no doubt that this poem reveals one of the essential issues, which were relevant to the realities of the British society of this epoch. The Emulation poem provides a critical review of the existing discriminative gender practices. The author creates a fictitious character under the name Tyrant Custom. This character symbolizes all traditions and customs related to gender relations in Britain. The poem is based on the open indignation at the ignorant attitude of the society towards the women’s problems. One of the fundamental charges is connected with the systemization of women’s social roles. Sarah Fyge Eagerton was confident that women used to play only several roles, such as the nurse or the mistress. She was sure that the limitation of women’s freedom was a destructive social practice, which contradicts the principle of utility. The author provides many examples of the earlier epochs, which support her position and give an opportunity for a reader to understand her worldview.

The analysis of the historic context shows that Sarah Fyge Eagerton tried to make a response to the relevant social problems. The fact that interpersonal relations of that period were mostly based on the constant liberalization of internal and external policies. On the other hand, the role of men in decision making was bigger: “But as current feminists have noted, the model of the autonomous, individual citizen that emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was unquestionably white, male, and middle-class” (Harrington 45). Accordingly, The Emulation poem was crucial for the struggle against gender discrimination, which was common for the 18th century Britain.

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Works Cited

Harrington, Dana. “Gender, Commerce, and the Transformation of Virtue in Eighteenth-Century Britain”. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 3, 2001, pp. 33-52.