Sentimentalism in "Charlotte Temple" Essay

Sentimentalism in "Charlotte Temple" Essay

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Many might argue that sentimentalism is an act of weakness or that it’s an emotion that should only be expressed by the female sex. However, that is not true; the act of sentimentalism actually helps to prove the moral quality of a character or person. This is eminent in the story Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson in which the reader comes across many characters being sensible or acting sentimentally towards others.
In the story Charlotte Temple, sentimentality is practiced amongst those characters that are benevolent; benevolent meaning a person that expresses good will, generosity, and that has the desire to help others in other words charitable. So how could this possibly be something negative or an act of weakness? The answer lies in that it’s not a bad thing and in the story the reader comes across many examples of both males and females being sentimental towards others. For instance, Mr. Temple, who is Charlotte’s father, is indeed a person that has a good heart and he is described as a sentimental or benevolent person because of the way he treats others in the sense that: “he had a heart open to every generous feeling of humanity, and a hand ready to dispense to those who wanted part of the blessings he enjoyed himself” [6]. What this means is that, not only is Mr. Temple a man, but he is also capable of feeling others pain like if it were his own and because of him being this way, he is indeed a moral person because he cares about others and does not think only about himself. A perfect example of him being benevolent or sentimental is when he helps Mr. Eldridge (who ends up being Charlotte’s grandfather); pay his debt without expecting anything in return.
Another act of sentimentality or benevolence as the story call...


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... you and use you to their advantage because they know you are vulnerable and will buy into all their phony discourses as Charlotte did with La Rue. However, this doesn’t mean that sentimentalism shouldn’t be practiced because people like Mr. Temple and Mrs. Beauchamp are the ones that make the world a better place. Benevolent people like Charlotte and her father are people to look up to and to follow not only because it’s moral but because it proves you to be a humane person.
To sum it all up, the act of sentimentalism helps to prove a character’s moral quality because it shows them capable of being generous and caring towards others. It does not necessarily make a person weak or a softie, but at many times could provoke others to take advantage of the sensibility in that person. However, it should be an emotion that everyone should express not only females.

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