I’m offering an adult ed (Osher) class on Eliot, and yesterday we discussed the Typist and Clerk passage. I of course related the situation to the Philomela story and other related passages and raised the issue of whether the typist was raped. One woman said that she was not b/c the typist offered no real resistance and was not forced, and the class (15) accepted that view. But I plan to return to the issue next class with the question of whether economic (she’s a typist in a bed-sit) and patriarchal forces were in play, which would amount to duress and thus rape.
Maybe some of you could offer some tips about how to approach the issue.