Women's Freedom In The Coquette

527 Words3 Pages
In the Hannah Webster epistolary novel, The Coquette, she expresses the analysis of female freedom and how the community disdained Eliza, who wants to live her life differently from the way society presumes women to live their life. The tension between individualism and the community becomes quite intense. Eliza Wharton’s decision on not conforming to society's way of living causes the community to believe she is putting herself and her future in danger. Eliza Wharton was a woman who regained normality of civilization after the death of her husband. She was eager to start back having fun and meeting new people. Not too long after her new start she catches the eye of two men one being Peter Sanford, the other being Reverend J. Boyer. Eliza wanted…show more content…
For example, Eliza and her late fiance, Mr. Haley, who was in love with Eliza seemed to be a great companion for Eliza along with Reverend Boyer. The community assumed because they were pastors with money that they would be the perfect fit for Eliza’s husband. The role of women in the 18th century was based on women getting married, having children, taking care of the house and as well as their husbands. In The Coquette, Eliza is constantly addressing the decision to pursue society’s norm or choosing whether to pursue her own happiness her way. The community expected women to fit into a specific mold and follow certain rules of society. The concept of Eliza’s freedom was contrasting with what the community excepted from her. According to the community, the women could not risk being caught sneaking around or stealing glances from men. They were expected to be courted get married, and live faithful lives to their husbands. In conclusion, as can be seen, going against the norm of society and branching off into the world of freedom can really bring tension in the 18th century for woman. Even though Eliza wanted to pursue her happiness in another form, she forgot to think about the tension and consequences
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