The Coquette

The Coquette

by

Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 20 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
“At this time, my dear mamma,” Eliza writes her mother, Mrs. Wharton, “I am peculiarly solicitous for your advice.” Eliza tells her mother about Reverend Boyer’s attention. “But his situation in life!” she says. “I dare not enter it.” She tells her mother that while he “is not disagreeable to [her],” she would rather marry someone whose profession is “more comfortable to [her] tastes.” Eliza tells her mother that they will talk more about Reverend Boyer later, as she will be returning home soon.
This again reflects Eliza’s desire to be upwardly mobile and move out of the middle class. Boyer’s “situation in life” is that he doesn’t have much money, and it is not presumed that he ever will. Eliza “dare not enter” the strict economy of Boyer’s life, but she is growing fond of him. Eliza’s “tastes” are rich, and she wants a wealthy man, like Sanford. Of course, Eliza has no idea that Sanford is actually broke.
Themes
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon