The Coquette

The Coquette

by

Hannah Webster Foster

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The Coquette: Letter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Eliza writes to Mrs. Richman from her mother, Mrs. Wharton’s, home in Hartford and tells her how happy she is to be with her family again. Major Sanford has recently moved to town as well, and while he has been exceedingly pleasant to Eliza, his respect of Mr. Boyer is a “result of habit.” Eliza plans to go to visit Lucy Freeman in the following days to help her prepare for her upcoming wedding. “I am anxious to hear of a wished for event and of your safety,” Eliza writes to Mrs. Richman in closing.
Here, Eliza implies that Mrs. Richman is expecting a child, which was never openly discussed in polite society during the eighteenth-century, and this is another reflection of their strict, patriarchal society. As pregnancy cannot occur without sex, it is considered inappropriate to mention, so Eliza politely, and discreetly, references “a wished for event,” or the birth of a child, instead.
Themes
Women and Society Theme Icon
Sex and Virtue Theme Icon