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. Which of Lovelace's friends is pleased to learn of Clarissa's escape?

2. Lovelace tells his friend Belford that he's happy to have Clarissa under his control, but that only one thing takes away from his happiness. What is that one thing?

3. What does Clarissa do with the proposed marriage settlement Lovelace gives to her?

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

5. While on their way to Lady Betty's cousin's house, what excuse does Lovelace use for stopping at Widow Sinclair's house?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do you believe that Lovelace is really repentant when he tells Mr. Hickman and Miss Howe that he is, at Colonel Ambrose's ball?

2. Why do you think Lovelace can not maintain his feelings of repentance?

3. In terms of symbolism, compare the bloody nose Clarissa gets while trying to escape from Widow Sinclair's house with the earlier injury to her hand when her brother tried to make her hold Mr. Solmes's hand.

4. Why do you think Richardson decided to include Belton's death scene in the novel? What purpose does this scene serve?

5. What do you think Lovelace means when he says he loves Clarissa? In other words, how do you think Lovelace would define love?

6. Why do you think Clarissa is so concerned about the curse her father put on her?

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

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

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

10. Why do you think Belford disagrees with Lovelace's determination to seduce Clarissa?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What message do you think "Clarissa" has about the right way to run a family, if any? What advice do you think a parent in the eighteenth-century might have taken from this novel for running their own family?

Essay Topic 2

There are many examples of people having a hard time telling whether a person or object in front of them is what it appears to be. What do you think Richardson's message about deception is? Support your answer with three examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 3

The role of women in eighteenth-century society is important in understanding what happens to Clarissa. Analyze how the social norms for young women determine what options are available to Clarissa at each point in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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