Ideology, RSA, and ISA in Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 Alzahra University, Tehran

2 Alzahra University

Abstract

The present study aims to focus on Alexander Pope’s controversial mock epic, The Rape of the Lock, to investigate the effects of Repressive and Ideological State Apparatus on the formation of characters’ identities in this 18th century poem. It seeks to analyze the ideological atmosphere in The Rape of the Lock and discusses the complexities of notions such as materialism, virtue, womanhood and conciliation in characters’ actions, words and belief on the basis of Louis Althusser’s theories of interpellationand Repressive and Ideological State Apparatuses. It analyses the details of the poem to determine Alexander Pope’s views as a social critic who tries to question the ideologies of his time by his satirical portrayal of the superficial social interactions, the corrupted political system and the process of women’s identity formation in this poem. The analysis reveals that Pope manages to resist being interpellated and avoids judgment of the characters by depicting the ambiguous nature of the sociopolitical ideologies and by resorting to the ideals of art instead.

Keywords


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