Chocolate and Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock


The rape of the lock is a poem by Alexander Pope that describes the effect of fate and choices in the life of Belinda, a young woman. She wakes up and does her preparation remembering the warning from her oracle that something bad would happen. Belinda attends the party but gets her coveted hair lock cut off by Baron. She is furious even after all people try their best to make her happy (Pope 448).

The most notable things at the party and throughout the activities of the characters in the poem include their expensive lives characterized by the chocolate. These ensembles in activities that they undertake, costing them a lot of money yet they end up just enjoying little of their wealth. The paper analyzes the chocolate and its significance in the poem by Alexander Pope.

Significance of the Chocolate

The people associated with Belinda live in a life that is clipped in a summary by the chocolate. Initially, the chocolate represents the expensive lives of the people. In the poem, the chocolate is very much expensive. The cost of the chocolate represents the expenditure of the people. The people are willing to spend their money on the chocolate despite the fact that the chocolate is expensive. At the party, the people spend their money on the chocolate and even use some in the course of fun interactions.

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This represents the people in society who are willing to go for the best despite the costs that the best brings along with it.The poem has a religious background in the Catholic Church in Britain (Griffiths 115).The chocolate represents the clergy in the church who spend their resources on the most expensive things yet they do not care about the other people around them.When the pope contracted Tuberculosis, the other clergy care less about his wellbeing.

Although few of the people take care of his medical bills, most of the people spend their money on the chocolates and other expensive things. The clergy lived lavish lives while many other people enjoyed their lives. The chocolate thus represents the lack of care for other people in the society while they enjoy their lives. The chocolate thus represents the criticism and mockery of the author on the people who considered themselves the best in the societyyet they never helped the other people in the society.

The chocolate also represents the conflicts that people encounter in the society despite their quest for success. The people at the party wanted to have the best from the party, but their actions are misinterpreted, which promptedconflicts. The party was expensive, and the things used in the party cost the people a lot. However, when Baron cuts the hair on Belinda’s head, the party is cut short with the chocolate as the main instigation for a reunion(Fitzgerald 129). In this sense, the chocolate represents the conflict existing between Belinda and Baron.

However, the chocolate also represents the existing conflict between people of different classes in the society. The elite and the low class people have conflicts on different economic fonts. Firstly, the rich and elite people use expensive tools and facilities, yet other people in the society languish in poverty. This causes a conflict among the people in the society hence the manifestation of chocolate in conflicts.

The chocolate symbolizes real life occasions in the society especially in the religious societies. In Britain, the clergy did not take care of the poor people and the sick people in the society. When the pope was sick, people who had the ability to take care of him ignored while others knew the help he needed but took a lot of time and resources enjoying their lives and living expensive lives(McDonald 7).

The chocolate in their lives represented their lavish lives while the other people suffered in the society. The people also had many conflicts. In Britain, conflicts among the people in the society are common. Many people argue over the rare resources yet some of the clergy lived lavish lives and had expensive belongings. The chocolate was melting in the eyes of Belinda meaning she knew the conflicts in the society and was determined to get beyond them.

Significance of the Story to the Poem

The story is of great relevance in the development of the poem. Firstly, the story shows the significance of the chocolate, which the poet had given little emphasis in the poem (Traudt 11). The poet did not take note of the fact that the chocolate represented the lavish lives of the people. People booked expensive tickets for events and they paid a lot of money for the chairs and tickets. This makes the poem show the lavish and spendthrift characteristics of the people in Britain especially in terms of their social lives.

The chocolate also signified the political and conflict situation in the society that the people did not take note of most of the times. The conflict between Belinda and Baron is amplified by the cost of the party (Smith 3). The equipment used in the party amplifies the conflict and the melting of the chocolate signifies the basic conflicts in the society.

The story also adds a critical spice to the poem. The poem talks about the vital lavish lives of people in Britain without concerning itself with the positive things that they did(Urquhart 50). The chocolate represents the willingness of people to spend on behalf of other people. As much as Belinda was in a conflict with Baron over his misuse of the party event, other people spent their time to convince her to stay on in the party. This means that some people cared about people who were low despite the differences that existed among them.


The chocolate shows the societal reactions to different circumstances and the implications of the relations of people in terms of their social and economic status in the society.Belinda is a beautiful woman who has a dream and her oracle warns her that something bad would happen during the day. She takes caution and goes to a party where her chocolate melts. The chocolate represents a number of things with significance in society. Initially, chocolate represents the expensive lives that people led. The chocolate was expensive meaning people affording it lived expensive lives.

Furthermore, the chocolate represents the conflicts among the people in different classes in the society. The chocolate leads to a conflict between Belinda and Baron. The creation of the idea of chocolate develops various themes in the poem by provides the poet with an approach of exploring societal issues from diverse perspectives.

Works Cited

  • Pope, Alexander. “The Rape of the Lock.”The Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Ed. Joseph Black, Leonard Conolly, Kate Flint, Isobel Grundy, Don LePan, Roy Liuzza, Jerome J., Anne Lake Prescott, Barry V. Quallis, Claire Waters. Broadview Press, 2006. 443–456. Print.
  • Fitzgerald, Mary. “London Calling.”New Statesman Oct 08 2007: 59. ProQuest.Web. 28 Oct. 2013 .
  • Griffiths, Sharon. “Should we Run the Risk of Rape?” Northern Echo: 15. Nov 23 2005. ProQuest.Web. 28 Oct. 2013 .
  • McDonald, Justin. “Hiding Behind the Complications of High Grain Prices.”Crops (2008): 44-5. ProQuest.Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
  • Smith, Virginia A. “He’s Swimming Solo in the Swan Pond.” McClatchy – Tribune Business News: 1. Feb 08 2007. ProQuest.Web. 28 Oct. 2013 .
  • Traudt, Barbara Anne. “The Evolution of Democracy: From a Lockean to a Native American Perspective.” Order No. 9995517 University of Denver, 2001. Ann Arbor: ProQuest.Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
  • Urquhart, James. “The Scandal of the Season.”Financial Times: 15. Aug 16 2008. ProQuest.Web. 28 Oct. 2013 .

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