Charlotte Temple Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Charlotte Temple.
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Love and Lust

Love and lust run through Susanna Rowson's novel, Charlotte Temple, and are always sharply distinguished. Love is often mentioned but lust is only characterized, which is consistent with eighteenth-century ethos.

Once engendered in the heart, love is constant and true, while lust is temporary, a "passion" or passivity that overcomes a person for a time but sets no roots. Love can include an appreciation for physical charm and beauty, but then transcends this. The story of Henry Temple and Lucy Eldridge epitomizes love. Henry is captivated by Lucy at first glance and ransoms her father's debt in part because he foresees the gratitude she will show. They live out a perfect marriage of mutual concern and support that transcends all trials. They love their prodigal daughter unconditionally.

During the courtship (if it can be called that), Henry is ordered by his father into a loveless but...

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This section contains 1,086 words
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Buy the Charlotte Temple Study Guide
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