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During the late 18‘” century, the values of society were changing Women played a role in the American Revolution. They affected the revolution by boycotting; they refused to buy British clothing while making clothes for themselves after the stamp act of 1765 Towards the end of the American Revolution, women gained more confidence with society and voiced their opinion against the idea of the republican motherhood. They wanted to be educated; they voiced their opinion to where girls in Massachusetts gained the right to schooling in 1790 Young men embraced the idea of companionate marriage, which gained respect for women.
Susanna Rowson was a prime example of a woman who voiced her opinion through her works written. She was a prime example of an educated woman who wanted education for women. The mistreatment and mindset of Charlotte really displayed characteristics of early struggle. The treatment of Charlotte Temple was quite a relation to a woman who relies on others to make her choices for her, The novel doesn’t reflect the trends of post American Revolution.
There are some ways that do show reflect some of the ideals of the American Revolution Some characters showed these ideals more than others. This caused the novel to both depict ways in which it does and doesn‘t reflect the trends of post American Revolution. Charlotte Temple is a feminist novel, The main character Charlotte appealed to women of this era to relate to their struggles in early life. To begin, Charlotte Temple shows characteristics in which women gained confidence and respect in society, a trend of the late American Revolution Women were educated in Great Britain.
Charlotte attended a girl’s boarding school, Madame Du Pont. Mlle. La Rue was a French teacher; she was obviously an educated woman to speak both French and English This was an important factor with parents in Britain, educating both men and women. An educated woman was someone who was highly respected by men. Men looked for educated women in Britain. Some women in the book were involved in a healthy companionate marriage. Lucy, Charlotte’s mother, marries Henry, The two make a great couple that develops a relationship filled with love. This love powers the marriage to be filled with equality and mutual agreementst Mrs. Beauchamp also has a marriage that reflects the mutuality reflected with a companionate marriage. MLBeauchamp and Mr. Temple both treat their wives with respect, unlike a lot of men in this novelt Women also do voice their opinions with actions. A prime example of this was Mrs. Crayton. She is an example of someone who was so power hungry and voiced her opinion so much that she ended up splitting up with Colonial Crayton, Also, Charlotte Temple tries to move on from John by engaging in a sexual relationship with Belcour. This is something that does anger John, As John walks in angry at her, she says ” ‘Married—gone—say you, what without a last farewell, without one thought on my unhappy situation! Oh Montraville, may God forgive your perfidy,”(Rowson pp. 87). This is just one of those times where Charlotte actually expresses her opinion and stands up for herself. Furthermore, Charlotte Temple is a novel in some ways that fails to meet the criteria for the trends of the late revolution. Charlotte was a prime example of a woman who accepted her fate in life Charlotte didn’t try to make a difference in the world or in her own life. She let others make her decisions. At times, she wished to die. Also, she knew that her fate was eventually dying. This was something most women at the end of the American Revolution wouldn’t do, They would voice their opinion of having a companionate marriage and not being treated badly by others. They would want to live a better life. She wanted a fate in which she married, but her relationship with John failed.
She also wanted to be a good mother, but she never received that opportunity. Many men in the novel didn‘t really want a companionate marriage. John Montraville was a prime example of this when he never wanted to marry Charlotte He even left her after pregnanting her. The novel says, “He kissed her cheek, and bidding her not make herself uneasy, unable to bear the silent but keen remonstrance, hastily left her,”(R0wson 57). The idea of a companionate marriage was a major trend of the American Revolution. This quote is quite astonishing, showing that John gave no respect to her, He was the creator of all her suffering. Belcour was a man who showed women absolutely no respect either. He was very selfish and his only goal was to seduce the women he felt like seducing, Belcour and John both would try to control Charlotte. “hey would destroy her letters she wrote and received. Most of which were letters that she wanted, which shows that the men were more concerned about themselves and not otters. Lastly, Charlotte Temple is a novel that appeals to the feminist audience, despite the main character dying, The suffering in this novel re ates to the lot of women of that time period. Charlotte is a very gullible woman who fa is into the decisions of others. Mlle. La Rue is one who convinces Charlotte to not be a prude and hooks Charlotte up with John Montraville. This was a very bad thing for C’iarlotte, because John Montraville also brings Charlotte away from her old ways of life, He convinces her to come to America with him and abandon her old ways of life inc uding her parents. Leaving for America brings Charlotte away from having support from her family Most women in that era were innocent and they grew up too quickly due to men. Some revolutionary women even endured suffering like Charlotte in being taking advantage of by men In this case, it was both a man and a woman who deceived Charlotte into being someone she was not supposed to be.
The audience of this book had friends who died during the revolution, which caused this book to appeal to them. Charlotte does die, but that doesn’t make it a non-feminist novel. Charlotte died like many friends of the audience in the late revolution. Child hearing was one reason for women dying during this time period. Charlotte wanted to raise a child after she bore a daughter, but she didn’t have the chance to after she died like so many other women of the American Revolution. Another reason was due to soldiers of the British killing families, including women during the American Revolution. Overall, women in the wake of the American Revolution showed advances in voicing their opinion and gaining respect. In Charlotte Temple, we both see advances and setbacks in women gaining respect The setbacks are what cause suffering and death, which appeals to the feminist audience, because of their relation to the novel, Men, while failing to receive a companionate marriage, do not respect Charlotte, the main characteri Some women in the novel do obtain the late revolutionary ideal of companionate marriage, such as Mrs. Beauchamp and Lucy Temple. Charlotte was an example of non- revolutionary women when she just accepted her fate, she didn’t really voice her opinion of what she wanted. Women in the novel were educated prior to coming over to America, which is what women in America strived for, Women were also the main audience of Charlotte Temple. Charlotte Temple was a book that depicted suffering in a way that was quite sentimental, Art innocent girl is taken by the powers of others, which leads her down the wrong path. This turns every close person against her. She then dies, leaving a sad depiction. Suffering happens in all aspects of life, throughout history and today, this novel depicts suffering perfectly.
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