The Coquette

The Coquette

by

Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lucy responds, pleased with Eliza’s decision to quit the company of Major Sanford. Lucy considers libertines and rakes more dangerous to society than “the robber and the assassin,” claiming their corrupt actions “the disgrace of humanity and virtue.” Lucy closes her letter by citing a poem. “In spite of all the virtue we can boast, / The woman that deliberates is lost.”
Lucy subtly implies through a poem that if Eliza continues to “deliberate,” or weigh her options in terms of which suitor to pick, her virtue will be lost in the process. This suggests that Eliza, or any woman for that matter, requires a man to be complete, and it again reflects the sexist nature of their society.
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon
Marriage and Social Mobility Theme Icon
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