The Hidden Female World

This week I really liked the two short stories online. Their sass and creativity made them stand out from everything else, in my opinion, that we have read, and were more entertaining, again in my opinion, that She Stoops to Conquer.


In The Lady’s Dressing Room, Strephon talks about all the things that he sees in the dressing room, and how they make Celia a person who she is not. For example, he talks about how he sees the bodice and dresses laying all over the floor, the make up and oil covered towels everywhere, sweat stained pits on sleeves on clothing laying around the room. He mentions how people think that she is clean and organized and beautiful, whereas he has seen the behind the scenes when she and her maid were not around and rather she is quite messy and dirty and covered in make up to make her skin paler and more beautiful. Strephon then speaks about he is curious about how other women might be the same, unnaturally beautiful and messy even though they show a clean exterior.


After reading the original story, it was interesting reading his inspiration to the writing with the reasons as to why he wrote it. It was very sassy and upfront, with some hidden sarcastic dry humor. It seemed, to me, as if it was a man calling out a woman on her lies and potentially cheating self as they were breaking up. The dryness of the language suggests that it was said in a very sarcastic and mean tone, while the flow of it suggests that it might have been said in a more “in your face” mater. I found it very humorous that she ended with saying that she hopes that she writes so that she can use his letters as toilet paper. This came off to me as the ending to a bad breakup with someone. I know that I would have to be quite angry at someone to tell them that I would use their, potentially, heart-felt letters to wipe myself with, let alone call someone out on their fakeness. 


3 thoughts on “The Hidden Female World

  1. You are on to something here, the writer is definitely angry with her beau. She makes a point to ask him for money through the maid, “For twice two pound you enter here; My lady vows without that sum it is in vain you write or come.” I question what particular reason would she make such a request, especially as she soon they stir up in disagreement or argument he ask for his money back. This leads me to think of what types of relationships they have and are having and how it relates to conspicuous consumption. “None strive to know their proper merit But strain for wisdom, beauty, spirit, And lose the praise that is their due While they’ve th’impossible in view.” There is a certain standard of living that is required with the term “injudicious view” following in the next line of poem. “The Lady’s Dressing Room” was a strong follow up that seem to be grinching and telling of a potential lover’s quarrel and Strephon was outing Celia and her many dirty ways.

  2. I appreciated your take on it as a man “calling out” a woman on that which makes her imperfect but I also believe the underlying story is that of a woman trying to live up to expectations. She is under pressure to appear perfect, which as we have came to see, is inhuman. The question I have now is, are men solely to blame for this unrealistic expectation? Is it something that came from within, or from an analysis of society as she saw it? I think that by dissecting her belief system we can understand the reasoning behind it, which is obviously flawed, and direct ourselves towards new modes of reasoning and thought.
    As I mentioned in another comment, it is interesting to see how this “standard” of women taking “too long” to get ready is present today. There is an expectation of women to be beautiful, especially at events, but yet there is an unrealistic expectation of their readying time. I believe a re-examination of beauty is required in our modern society to truly understand what is realistic for both women and men.

  3. I really like your consideration of the final line in “The Reasons that Induced…” and the “in your face” manner with which she tells him that his letters will go unread and be used only as toilet paper. When the lover threatens to reveal the dirty and smelly state of her dressing room, her response is seemingly to say, “So what? Here is something even more disgusting. I am done with you.” Just as happens when Strephon sees Celia shit, the lover here seems to have built up women to be some perfect being and, at the very least, believes that they should hide their imperfections, should they exist. I think your bit about this story being comparable to a bad break-up is interesting, but to me it feels more like initial disappointment that a woman is not who the man thought or hoped she was–that she is not who she has represented herself to be in more public settings.

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