The Romantic Heart

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Throughout life there are sets of standards that people live by both socially and morally. In life people are given a choice to make their own decisions and deal with any consequences that come along with these decisions. There are three stories in the Longman Anthology World Literature that discuss a rejection of social standards. The first story is Candide by Voltaire, the second story is The Lady’s Dressing Room by Jonathan Swift, the third and final story is Faust by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Each of the stories listed above discuss a rejection of social standards of one type or another.

Candide by Voltaire is a story in which Candide, a man, while in the army runs into a woman who dresses his wounds. This woman that he meets is named Cunégonde. This woman deals with things that in society that are considered a rejection of social standards. This woman endures things such as being a sex slave, she is raped, and she also endures cannibalism and enslavement. In society such things as these are morally and ethically wrong and rejected by society and are punished.

The Lady’s Dressing Room, a poem written by Jonathan Swift is a tale of a man in the dressing room of a woman. The man in this tale enters the dressing room of a woman while she is not in there and looks around looking at all of her belongings. The man discusses how a woman is unnatural in all of the powders, creams, perfumes and makeup a woman uses and how much time she puts into “making herself up.” He believes that a woman who spends so much time getting ready and using so many different products makes her fake, so to speak. In his eyes people should be true themselves and not be something or someone that they are not.

Socially this story of The Lady’s Dressing Room, is stating a woman and all people should not hide the things about themselves that make them who they are, from the wrinkles in their forehead to the powders to hide the “streams of water” coming from her under arms. In today’s...
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