The Coquette

The Coquette

by

Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 53 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
“Gracious Heaven!” Eliza writes to Lucy. “What have I heard?” Eliza tells Lucy that Sanford is married. “Yes, the ungrateful, the deceitful wretch, is married!” Eliza has heard that his new wife has money, and she supposes that Sanford believes as she once did, “that wealth can ensure happiness.” Before this terrible news, Eliza says, she had achieved some “cheerfulness” with Julia’s help, but now it is lost. Eliza intends to travel with Julia to Boston for the winter, hoping that “varying the scene may contribute effectually to dissipate the gloom of [her] imagination.”
This is further evidence of Eliza’s worsening depression and the torch she still carries for Sanford. She openly admits here that she had previously thought money could buy her happiness—which is perhaps the only real offense she is guilty of—but she seems to have now learned her lesson. Eliza appears to want to return to her social life and previous “gay” state of living, but she does very little to make this happen.
Themes
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon