Charlotte Temple

How have tales about teen pregnacies remained the same since the late 18th century?

Like between Charlottes Temple and Where the Heart Is.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

I suppose this story has been repeated to varying degrees of similarity for a very long time. In Charlotte Temple (1771) a British Lieutenant names Montraville seduces Charlotte Temple, a tall, elegant girl of 15. Charlotte gets pregnant and ends up in New York City. Montraville tires of her and Charlotte ends up alone and destitute giving birth in a strange country. Flash forward to 1995 and one of Oprah's venerated book club picks. "Where the Heart Is" opens with Novalee and Willy Jack, her then boyfriend, traveling from Tennessee to California. At the time, Novalee is "seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight...Novalee convinces Willy Jack to stop at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, so she can use the restroom and purchase a pair of sandals, as hers fell through the floor of their beat up car. When Novalee comes out of the Wal-Mart, she realizes Willy Jack has left her with nothing more than her beach bag and the $7.77 she has in change from the purchase of new sandals. Novalee ends up giving birth in the Walmart. Although the two stories are separated by a few centuries, they sound pretty familiar. To Charlotte, New York might as well have been her Walmart. Both stories represent young naive girls with very limited resources at the mercy of their much older males. THere is a great amount of resilience in both girls although both have different outcomes. This story plays out to varying degrees, probably since anyone can remember. The outcomes may or may not be different but we can see a similar social dynamic at play.