The Coquette

The Coquette

by

Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 43 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mrs. Richman writes to Eliza and offers her condolences regarding Eliza’s separation from Reverend Boyer. “I had long contemplated a happy union between you,” writes Mrs. Richman. While she is saddened by these recent events, Mrs. Richman is most disappointed to hear that Eliza has suffered lately from depression and resigned herself to “solitude and dejection.”
The fact that Eliza has resigned herself to “solitude and dejection” is evidence of the severity of her depression, and likely her failing health in general. Eliza’s greatest joys in life are her friends and social engagements, and she no longer has the desire to partake in these activities.
Themes
Friendship Theme Icon
Mrs. Richman goes on to talk about her family. “All my happiness is centered within the limits of my own walls,” she says, “and I grudge every moment that call from the pleasing scenes of domestic life.” Mrs. Richman does not mean to neglect her friends—she even invites Eliza for another visit—but “conjugal and parental love are the main springs of [her] life.”
Mrs. Richman paints her life in the domestic sphere in an overly flattering light, which she hopes will entice Eliza to enter the domestic sphere, as well. As an eighteenth-century woman, Mrs. Richman believes that her rightful, and only, role is in the home.
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
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