The situation of a war and how it affects young men and women is as relevant today as it was when Susanna Rowson first wrote Charlotte Temple. Ms Rowson was ahead of her time in recognizing the relevance of interaction in between all the principals in her novel. Many authors of the time were more inclined to emphasize the responsibility of the woman to control her conduct and suffer the consequences of any breach of demeanor. Today’s society now recognizes that the responsibility lies with both the man and the woman in a relationship. Unfortunately, even today the mother and her children are more likely to suffer and struggle financially when a domestic partnership breaks up. Charlotte Temple is an overdramatized “Soap Opera” of a novel that would more easily translate into a SNL farce than a serious drama today. But, that could be done. It would also make a good presentation for Jerry Springer or the Peoples’ Court.
Susanna Rowson uses her portrayal of Charlotte Temple and most of the characters in her story as misled, selfish sometimes, but not purely evil to impart her information to her intended audience of young women and their mothers to show how easily the situation could go wrong. It also served as a caution to friends and associates to avoid becoming involved in schoolgirl intrigue. This was especially true in those situations where the older individuals knew that what they were helping the innocent girl plan was not socially acceptable because it was far too likely to end exactly the way it did, with the mother and child compromised.
Rowson, Susanna Haswell. "Charlotte Temple." n.d. The Gutenberg Project. 15 07 2012.