Sunday, March 8, 2009

An Accomplished Coquette

“My dear Sister,—I congratulate you and Mr. Vernon on being about to receive into your family the most accomplished coquette in England.” (IV).

Coquette is the French word for a flirtatious woman.  Reginald De Courcy uses the word when he sarcastically congratulates his sister for housing England’s most accomplished flirt. His use of the word shows his sophistication, while his use of sarcasm shows his distaste for Lady Susan.  Austen uses sarcasm to characterize Lady Susan as a woman who attempts to acquire the attentions of men without any personal affection.  Lady Susan teases men for her benefit and enjoyment.  By using another character’s sarcasm to characterize Lady Susan, Austen emphasizes how other character’s view Lady Susan, not how the author alone views Lady Susan.

Works Cited:  "coquette." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.  Merriam-Webster Online. 8 March 2009  <>

1 comment:

  1. I really like where you take the discussion regarding characterization here and identifying the difference between the author/narrator's attitude toward the character and the other characters' attitudes toward the character