Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette, published in 1797, has long been regarded as a sentimental novel with little literary quality. Though The Coquette was a best seller at publication and remained in print for most of the 19th century, critics gave it little attention other than to ridicule the novel. Not until 1978 with the publishing of Walter Wenska’s The Coquette and the American Dream of Freedom did Foster’s book receive critical attention and praise. Since then, other literary critics have given their attention to The Coquette for critical analysis and praise. These critics have focused on facets of the novel that were completely ignored until the last twenty years. The themes critics discuss include the injustices of patriarchal culture, societal attitudes, the depiction of an economy of vision, treatment of language and the role of the female circle. It is obvious modern critics have delved below the surface of the sentimental novel to extract meaningful themes and information written by Foster.
In her book Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America, Cathy N. Davidson includes The Coquette in the historical chronology and criticism of the American novel. Davidson concentrates her writing about The Coquette’s theme as it “does not openly challenge the basic structure of patriarchal culture but instead, exposes its fundamental injustices through the details and disasters of the plot” (144). The novel opens with Eliza Wharton expressing both her sadness and relief over the death of Mr. Haly. Davidson points out the injustice of Eliza submitting to an arranged marriage out of obedience to her parents which contradicts the supposed...
... middle of paper ...
... by the aforementioned writers must emphasize the depth of Foster’s novel.
Baker, Dorothy Z. “Detested by the Epithet!”: Definition, Maxim and the Language of Social Dicta in Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette.” Essays in Literature 23 (1996): 58-68.
Davidson, Cathy N. Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America. New York: Oxford, 1986.
Hamilton, Kristie. “An Assault on the Will: Republican Virtue and the City in Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette. Early American Literature 24 (1989): 135-151.
Pettengill, Claire C. “Sisterhood in a Separate Sphere: Female Friendships in Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette and The Boarding School.” Early American Literature 27 (1992): 185-203.
Waldstreicher, David. “Fallen Under My Observation: Vision and Virtue in The Coquette.” Early American Literature 27 (1992): 204-218.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Hannah Webster Foster's The Coquette Eliza Wharton has sinned. She has also seduced, deceived, loved, and been had. With The Coquette Hannah Webster Foster uses Eliza as an allegory, the archetype of a woman gone wrong. To a twentieth century reader Eliza's fate seems over-dramatized, pathetic, perhaps even silly. She loved a man but circumstance dissuaded their marriage and forced them to establish a guilt-laden, whirlwind of a tryst that destroyed both of their lives. A twentieth century reader may have championed Sanford's divorce, she may have championed the affair, she may have championed Eliza's acceptance of Boyer's proposal.... [tags: Hannah Webster Foster The Coquette]
4243 words (12.1 pages)
- The idea of social rejection, which can be used to describe persons rejected by, omitted from, or mistreated by their peers. Social rejection can be in the form of slavery, shunning, bullying, or in Hannah W. Foster’s novel, The Coquette, the barring of women because they do not conform to the rules of proper society etiquette. Foster’s Eliza Wharton has all the qualities of this kind of societal young woman. As she is entering society, having to obey by the proper society etiquette, she fits into this mold of how a woman is perceived to behave.... [tags: Woman, Sociology, Marriage, Husband]
1076 words (3.1 pages)
- Hannah Montana Verses Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus has been a household name since the success of her hit show Hannah Montana. Long gone is the thirteen-year old girl who played America’s sweetheart on Disney Channel. Today the media portrays her as an out of control twenty-two year old superstar. The recent confrontation on the 2015 Video Music Awards with Nicki Minaj is a prime example of how Hannah Montana has turned herself into a thing of the past. The transformation from Hannah Montana to Miley Cyrus has caused her to change her appearance, morals, and music.... [tags: Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus, Disney Channel]
845 words (2.4 pages)
- How have you ever wondered what it 's like to be in the foster Care System. There are so many scary stories that people throw out there and yes, some may be true but there 's not always the case. There are homes where the parents and the rest of the family is very kind hearted and beautiful. I mean I can 't say I 've been in the foster care system where the house parents are so terrible. I had experiences at bad homes before, but never in a crazy way. I know it is hard to have other people you don 't know try to be in charge of you.... [tags: Foster care, Family]
1855 words (5.3 pages)
- Everyone knows about foster care but do not realize the impact it has on humans ' lives. “More than 400,000 children are placed in foster care annually, with more than 200,000 moving in and out of foster homes in giving year” (Brozak, 1). Foster care changes and benefits people live, from the child to the parent. By foster care you save more lives than just the foster child. Although, foster parenting come with barrage of challenges. It provides many advantages for the people in need. Having foster children in your home is a blessing to the child, foster parents, and birth parents.... [tags: Foster care, Family, Adoption]
1069 words (3.1 pages)
- Hannah Arendt discovered a concept known as “The banality of Evil” during the time of the Holocaust, she wanted to understand the nature of evil and explain how it can be different from the concept of radical evil. Her theory arose from the actions led by a man whose job was to organize the transportation of Jews to concentration camps in various cities. Adolf Eichman was a typical Bureaucrat. Arendt described him as an average joe whose sole purpose was to be successful and follow the orders lead by his superior, Hitler.... [tags: Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt]
1281 words (3.7 pages)
- What makes You. You. Have you ever stopped and thought, “ what would i do if my kid had a disability?” Or ever question why you act a certain way or if you 're strong enough. In the Articles “Notes From a Dragon mom, What we hunger For and the speech “ This is Water” These authors all share there thoughts on what makes a person act the way they do. In the speech “This is Water”, by David Foster Wallace , Wallace shows many reasons on why everyday behavior is based off of a person 's education.... [tags: Mind, Psychology, David Foster Wallace, Hunger]
835 words (2.4 pages)
- There is extensive recognition that for many children outside of parental care, family supported care provides a better option to residential care. Though, in different countries of the world, foster care, an important system for giving this family-supported care, keeps under-resourced and hardly used (Murray, Tarren‐Sweeney, & France, 2011). This research observes this clear contradiction. It is essential not to observe foster care as the single solution for children in need of optional care. Decisions regarding whether to place children in foster care should be established on a case-by-case basis, thinking the best intentions of the child, and the evidence on the importance of supporting c... [tags: Foster care, Adoption]
1337 words (3.8 pages)
- Within the novel, Ellen Foster, the story of a young girl is told by none other than herself. The story tells of how young Ellen endures life with an ill mother who eventually passes away and a drunken father, whom she is left with and basically takes care of herself, amongst paying bills, cooking, cleaning, and everything else one would normally see a parent doing for a child. After Ellen’s teacher notices a bruise on her arm, Ellen is sent to live with the school’s art teacher, Julia, and her husband, Roy.... [tags: Fiction, Novel, Family, Ellen Foster]
2006 words (5.7 pages)
- The Coquette, written by Hannah Webster Foster in 1797, chronicles the life of an affluent woman in the 18th century. There are a few themes that are presented throughout the whole novel: correspondence, sexual freedom, and ideal womanhood. Elizabeth Whitman has been an icon of American history since the 19th century because of her bravery and contempt for the caged position of women in society. It is stated that the tombstone of Elizabeth Whitman is a popular tourist attraction; “her grave was a popular destination for New England travelers, who beat paths to the far corner of Danvers’s Old South Cemetery through the entire nineteenth century.” (Waterman) The Coquette was loosely based on... [tags: Literary Analysis, Hannah Webster Foster]
1508 words (4.3 pages)
- The Oppression of Women and The Yellow Wallpaper
- Waste Land Essay: Journey Through The Waste Land
- Ambiguity and Uncertainty in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
- The Character of Daisy in Henry James' Daisy Miller
- Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet
- Treatment of Women in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road