Clarissa | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by William Beatty Warner

This literature criticism consists of approximately 29 pages of analysis & critique of Clarissa.
This section contains 8,439 words
(approx. 29 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by William Beatty Warner

SOURCE: "Richardson as Author: Gamester and Master," in Reading "Clarissa ": The Struggles of Interpretation, Yale University Press, 1979, pp. 123-42.

Below, Warner explores Richardson's sometimes counterproductive attempts at asserting authorial control over the readers of Clarissa.

Richardson's debate with his readers about the true meaning of Clarissa, and the proper ending for the story, is one of the truly bizarre episodes in the annals of the English literary tradition. These debates provide historical evidence for something we have already noticed about the text—its openness to divergent interpretations. Why does this text incite such diverse interpretations? An answer emerges from a consideration of Richardson's aesthetic—his stated intentions in writing Clarissa, and the steps he takes to realize those intentions. A shorthand formulation of this aesthetic might go this way...

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This section contains 8,439 words
(approx. 29 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by William Beatty Warner