A Depiction Of Society And Humanity Can Be Portrayed Through Literature

787 Words Sep 17th, 2015 4 Pages
A depiction of society and humanity can be portrayed through literature. Within Daniel Defoe’s Roxana (1724), readers are able to explore a sense of the eighteenth century context within the exploration of gender and characterisation employed through literary techniques. These two themes interplay with the social norms of Defoe’s context and allow readers an insight into the changing values within his writing.
The notion of gender, explored within in the text is seen by Roxana’s securing of power over men. This implies a seemingly increase in social influence of women within the era. Roxana is a woman who desires power and depicts an accidental feminist. This is evident in the shifting power of Roxana’s control of men, switching the gender roles as the accidental feminist deceives the master. He is completely under her control shown in “nay, he lov’d me, I believe, as entirely, as if I had been the Wife of his Youth” (Defoe, 1724, p. 47) portraying the control that Roxana has within the social sphere as well as her power to manipulate the master. Furthermore, Roxana is portrayed to be valuable, demonstrating the power of her gender, enshrined within the diction of “esteem’d me” (Defoe, 1724, p. 47), implying the master’s high regards towards her. Noticeably, the readers are able to see a shift in perception of power within the gender roles as Defoe provides Roxana the power to manipulate and control the emotions and actions of men. Her character is also ironic as she…

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