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Self-Fashioning in Pope’s Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot: A Bourdieusian Reading

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The aim of the present article is to investigate Alexander Pope‘s self-fashioning in the light of Pierre Bourdieu‘s socio-cultural notion of capitals, specifically the symbolic form. Pope endeavors a lot to gain such a prominent status as the most representative poet of his age. He garners all his artistry, eloquence, savoir-faire, family and social milieu to move towards the center of the canon throughout his life. This upward movement comprises a self-fashioning by Pope which sometimes is the means to facilitate his canonization and sometimes it turns into a goal and an end in itself for him. As the highly acclaimed French philosopher, Pierre Bourdieu highlights the importance of symbolic capital in an individual‘s social status. Therefore this paper aims at shedding light on Pope‘s sophisticated act of self-fashioning and its relevance to Pierre Bourdieu‘s symbolic capital. For this reason, this article discusses Pope‘s Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, an exemplar of his self-fashioning and accumulation of symbolic capital.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 40)
E. Zarei and H. Pirnajmuddin, "Self-Fashioning in Pope’s Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot: A Bourdieusian Reading", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 40, pp. 64-77, 2014
Online since:
September 2014

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