The Coquette

The Coquette


Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 11 Summary & Analysis

“Well, Charles,” Sanford writes, “I have been manœuvring to day, a little revengefully.” He had gone to see Eliza earlier that morning and sensed that she was “vexed.” No doubt Mrs. Richman has warned her “of the vices of her gallant,” Sanford says. Eliza’s coldness soon warmed, however, and they had a nice visit. Eliza “intimated” that she and Mrs. Richman would be going to Laurence’s, and Sanford is “determined to follow them, and tease the jealous Mrs. Richman.” If Sanford were partial to marriage, he believes that Eliza would make the perfect wife, “but this is no part of [his] plan, so long as [he] can keep out of the noose.” If Sanford does “submit to be shackled,” it will be out of the “necessity of mending [his] fortune.”
This is the first hint at the fact that Sanford’s status as a wealthy man is a farce. Like Eliza, Sanford also considers marriage oppressive and this is reflected in his reference to marriage as a “noose.” This reference implies that Sanford considers marriage a death of sorts, and he will only concede to marriage if the woman is sufficiently rich to resolve his mounting financial problems. Sanford knows that Mrs. Richman does not approve of his relationship with Eliza, and this only makes him want to pursue her more.
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