They ask no angel’s wings, no seraph’s fire
But think, admitted to their native sky
Their faithful dog shall bear them company
In the passage where Sofia uses this quote she is describing how pure and good the people of India are. She comments on how they are raised to be kind and non-violent. She is idolizing them. She describes their tents as “Pythagorean”. By saying this she links their communities with something divine and mysterious. Comparing the native people to the Greeks is a common theme we see in the text. Perhaps to comment on the importance of the Indian culture or how important Indian culture should be to the rest of the world. Sofia claims that the native people are perfectly described in Pope’s quote. Quoting Pope is holds up another theme throughout the book. Gibbes repeatedly quotes English authors. She does this to show that even though her character make an ass out of her main character. Pope was satirical writer, and not exactly the right person someone may choose to describe the purity of people. By using him she is hinting at her own satirical writing. Gibbes intentionally makes Sophia a sexist stereotype of a girl. She is made out to be someone who just throws out names without really thinking. When Sophia uses these authors in the wrong context it could also be a comment on their importance. She is throwing “shade” at them by totally overlooking what the real meanings of their text are. Gibbes makes them look unimportant and forgettable, this is probably how she truly felt.
Next in the passage Sophia states that she must go learn about the culture that is so foreign to her. She does so in a condescending way. Gibbes message here is to comment on how condescending people can be when they quote English literature, even if they do it in the wrong context. Maybe if we take it a step further we can compare this to how arrogant she thinks English people are.
She also inserts Pope into her own satire for the reader to make a comparison. Who is funnier? Gibbes is trying to make a statement. She is saying “you call me one of these ditsy girls, but it looks like I am just as good as you”. She is making people face their stereotypes of women head on.