The poem begins with a girl named Belinda awakening from her sleep. As she opens her eyes she catches a glimpse of the sun shining through the window. Her alarm clock sounded three times at noon, but she continued to press her head against the pillow. Her guardian sylph, Ariel, was a fairy-like creature who watched over her throughout the day. This morning, while looking in a mirror, Ariel saw that something terrible would happen to her. The only problem was he didn’t know what it was. After warning Belinda, Ariel and other sylphs proceeded to help her get ready for the day. Some attended to her hair and make up while others helped her put on jewelry and clothes.

Multiple examples of mock heroism are evident in Canto I. In the beginning of the poem, Pope uses mock heroism to describe the sun shining through the window. He says, “Sol through white curtains shot a tim’rous ray, and opened those eyes that must eclipse the day”. Similarly, he describes the alarm clock sounding by saying, “thrice rung the bell, the slipper knocked the ground, and the pressed watch returned a silver sound”. In addition, Pope depicts Belinda putting on her jewelry and perfume by saying, “And decks the Goddess with the glittering spoil. The casket India’s glowing gems unlocks, and all Arabia breathes from yonder box”. In each of these examples, mock heroism is demonstrated through the use of elaborate description and exaggerated detail to trivial events when in reality all of these examples could be explained in a few short sentences.