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Charlotte Temple

Essay by   •  October 6, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,210 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,856 Views

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One of the greatest things about life is the way it teaches us lessons over time. Challenges and obstacles that occur in our lives shape us and build character, and we gain experience so that we know how to handle the future with self-control. In Susanna Rowson's novel, Charlotte Temple, the fate of the main character, Charlotte, is decided by both her own decisions and society, but it was really her own decisions that molded her life. The Novel addresses how to overcome the hardships of life and how to find way to live elegantly and successfully. Charlotte Temple is a tragically weak character, shaped by many external factors. The Novel describes Charlotte's downfall, as she is seduced and carried off by Montraville, a soldier to New York. She is soon pregnant, and then abandoned. Her Choice to leave London and travel across the Atlantic to New York with Montraville affects her fate at the end of the novel. Moreover, in this time period, society had many confinements such as marrying someone as an economic advancement. But Temple vows to never marry for money and only for love. When charlotte decided to live and love, it left her without a family and without financial help. Society's constraints were the backbone to Charlotte's life choices, and due to that her decisions were responsible for her fate in New York, which led to her death.

The Text is generally about a young innocent girl Charlotte, the child of honorable parents, who becomes corrupted as a result of her naivetÐ"©, the scheming of her friend Miss La Rue, and the romantic relationship with a military man named Montraville. In the end, Charlotte becomes pregnant, is abandoned by Montraville, is left with no money, and dies as sick impoverished women. When Montraville abandons Charlotte, after running off with him, she find out it is for another woman's love. Due to her coming to America with just Miss La Rue, who also abandoned her, she has no one to turn to except Montraville who ends up leaving her and was left alone for this other woman. She is then only left with Belcour, Montraville's unsympathetic and selfish friend, who causes a lot of grief and tragedy in Charlotte's life. Belcour's lack of sympathy showed when he saw how much mental pain Charlotte was in over Montraville, but yet he did not do anything except instigate things between himself and Charlotte; he also did not give her any of the money that was sent to her from Montraville. Due to being very impulsive, Montraville ruined Charlotte's life "Had it not been for me, she had still been virtuous and happy in the affection and protection of her family." (Rowson, 93)

In the end when Montraville fines out about charlotte's death, he regrets his decision for choosing Julie, the other woman over her. Montraville was an obvious negative influence in Charlotte's life. Not only does he manipulate Charlotte to come to America and marry him. But also he ignores her when they arrive, and then leaves her for another woman.

Due to Charlotte's dishonest behavior in regards to Montraville, her lover, her mother feels broken and charlotte loses connection with all of her family and friends. Threw out the text, Rowson displays the consequences of Charlotte's eloping with Montraville and how she is constantly persuaded by the people in her life, unable to make her own decisions. Due to Charlotte's lack of being able to orient herself, the narrator in the text speak to the reader so that the reader can direct himself or herself throughout the text.

Unlike Montraville, Mrs.Beauchamp is a positive role model in Charlotte's life; although she is gone for a while, Charlotte is able to turn to her in the end. During Charlotte's dying days, Mrs. Beauchamp comes to console her, alone with her father. It seems to be that she was holding onto life until the most important people were with her by her side so she could finally receive some inner peace. "My adored father." "My long lost child," (Rowson, 127) was words muttered my Charlotte and her father. She awoke in her fathers supporting arms. Now, she felt that she could finally let go, not that she said goodbye to her loved

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