The Coquette

The Coquette

by

Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 62 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Eliza writes one letter to both Julia and Lucy, who are both now in Boston. “Writing is an employment,” Eliza says, “which suits me not at present.” Eliza reports that, sadly, Mrs. Richman “has buried her babe.” Eliza has just written Mrs. Richman a long letter but has otherwise been ignoring society. She is “trying what a recluse and solitary mode of life will produce,” since her gay disposition has caused her such trouble. She asks her friends to continue writing her, even if she doesn’t reciprocate.
Mrs. Richman’s baby serves as a symbol of her perfect marriage and complete dedication to the domestic sphere. When the baby dies, this suggests that even the happiest wives and mothers are not immune to despair, and that marriage and domestic life are not always perfectly enjoyable. Eliza continues to decline both physically and mentally and has completely withdrawn from society. 
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon