Note that the story of Fantomina (as we'll call her) is related by a third person narrator. Some unnamed, unspecified voice tells the story of who Fantomina is, what she does, where she goes. That narrator doesn't have as much to say about Beauplaisir, but the narrator does, inevitably, relate his role in the story as well.
What is the narrator's attitude toward Beauplaisir? How does the telling of the story nudge the reader to interpret his actions? Here are three possible ways to describe the depiction of Beauplaisir:
1. Beauplaisir is a dog, scumbag, player...you name it. Whatever you think of Fantomina's shenanigans, Beauplaisir deserved to be played like she played him.
2. Boys will be boys. What can you do?
3. Boys will be boys--but Beauplaisir is a pretty upstanding guy, considering the circumstances.
Does one of these possibilities accurately convey your sense of what Haywood is doing with her male character? If so, which one? Or would you like to suggest a different way of understanding this character? You can start the conversation by writing a couple of sentences to support your choice (it's a good idea to include a quote or two from the story that will back up your claims). Or you can take issue with someone else's response (kindly and collegially, please!
Keep in mind that the way you judge Beauplaisir may not be the way that Haywood (or the eighteenth-century reader) judges him. For that reason you need to be attentive to the tone and precise wording of the passages that you consider in forming your response.
Deadline: Monday, 1/24, start of class.