Clarissa Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When Clarissa threatens to commit suicide in the dining room, what weapon does she have with her?

2. Why does Clarissa run away after the fire at Widow Sinclair's house?

3. Where is Clarissa planning to go while Lovelace visits the dying Lord M?

4. When Miss Howe says she is going to write to Clarissa even though her mother does not allow her to, what does Clarissa tell her?

5. In addition to the information about the Widow Sinclair, what else does the revealing letter from Miss Howe say?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Miss Howe describes Clarissa's character in response to Belford's request, how closely does the description Miss Howe gives fit your understanding of Clarissa's character as it has been developed earlier in the novel?

2. What is the point of Clarissa leaving nothing to James, Arabella or Lovelace?

3. Does Clarissa have the information she needs to decide whether or not to marry Lovelace? Why or why not?

4. Dolly says that if she were in Clarissa's position, she would marry Lovelace. What do you think Clarissa should do?

5. When Lovelace says he loves and hates Clarissa simultaneously, and can you see his point of view? Why or why not?

6. How does the conversation between Belford and Hickman in the coffeehouse characterize Belford?

7. After Clarissa's return to the Widow Sinclair's house, do you think that she is right to be more pessimistic about the final outcome of her relationship with Lovelace?

8. Are Clarissa's letters to her family what you expected? Why or why not?

9. How does Clarissa's discussion with the doctor about her death characterize her?

10. Do you think the suffering of the bad characters at the end of the novel fits their crimes?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast all of the death scenes in the novel. Considering just the death scenes, what message do you think the novel has for the reader?

Essay Topic 2

Although the form of an epistolary novel (a novel written in letters) is fairly unusual today, it was one of the most common ways for early novels to be written. Discuss the use of the epistolary form in "Clarissa." Discuss (a) the way letters are used to develop characterization, (b) the way epistolary form allows the author to create suspense, and (c) the way epistolary form allows readers to relate to characters.

Essay Topic 3

Marriage in the eighteenth century (especially for wealthy people) was seen both as a relationship that might begin in romance and as a legal and financial contract. Discuss three marriages in this novel in terms of their romantic and financial aspects.

(see the answer keys)

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