Abused, Misused, and Memed: Charlotte Temple in a Modern Media Landscape

  • Zoe Ballew
  • Alexander Fisher
  • Maryann Kormoski
  • Chelsea Mathes


The purpose of the article is to use memes to explain and create an understanding for complicated topics that are present in Charlotte Temple (1794). The memes discussed within the article give the readers a different way to interact and understand classic literature. They address difficult topics, like the consent issues apparent in Charlotte Temple, in a way that is approachable. Memes are an innovative way to interact with and understand literature. Different layers of meaning and context can be achieved or applied to a text by the use of memes. Also, the memes provide a format to interact with tropes within Charlotte Temple. Descriptions of Charlotte Temple, an explanation of the memes used, and an explication of how the meme’s work within the context of the novel are provided. Individual efforts made to create the memes come from the text Charlotte Temple, cited documents, and personal knowledge about memes. The memes are used to tackle difficult subjects with humor. These topics include: romantic coercion, kidnapping, lack of parenting, and consent. Each meme deals with the topics differently, and some issues overlap with the memes. For instance, The Persian Cat Room Guardian meme focuses on the absence of parental guidance and the repercussions For Charlotte. Romantic coercion, consent, and kidnapping are part of each meme, and discussed within the paper.

Key Words: meme, Charlotte Temple, seduction, social media, eighteenth century.