Essay on Charlotte Temple - Ideas of Love

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Charlotte Temple - Ideas of Love In the 18th century, when Charlotte Temple was written, society’s ideas about women, love, and obligations were extremely different from views held in the 20th century. Women did not have many rights, and society made them think that their place in life was to marry well. They were not supposed to have desires or hopes for an amazing kind of love. They were merely supposed to marry the man who their families intended them to marry, and live their lives being a dutiful wife and mother. Love had a similar essence in the 1700’s. It was not looked at as being essential to a relationship; convenience and social status was more important than love in an 18th century marriage. Finally, social …show more content…
The narrator commented on how their marriages were productive in the sense that the family name was held in high regard, yet the actual participants in the marriages were miserable
(854). Temple recognized that he will be under the same obligations as his brother and sisters, and would probably have had to marry someone who would be good for the family. He also realized that he would risk disownment by his father if he chose a mate not suited to his father’s taste. Another person bound with familial obligations was Charlotte
Temple. Even when she was away at boarding school, she still felt she should have obeyed her mothers’ wishes. She did not think she should open the letter given to her by Montraville, because her mother told her not to open any letters from men without letting Mother read it first.
She shied away from seeing Montraville again, for she knew her mother and schoolmaster would not have approved. At one point, Montraville asked Charlotte if she loved her parents more than she loved him. She responded, “I hope I do. I hope my affection for them will ever keep me from infringing the laws of filial duty.” Here in the story, it was especially evident the “laws” that came with being an 18th century girl.
She said here that she has a specific obligation to her parents, and nothing should keep her from fulfilling her obligations to them (872).
She also was distressed about leaving to go to America
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