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 seems willing to marry Lovelace in order to reconcile with her family, why does that bother Lovelace?

2. Clarissa admits she would prefer Lovelace if only he had what quality?

3. Who does Clarissa write to, asking for help persuading her father not to force her to marry Solmes?

4. When Clarissa runs away after the fire, what does she plan to do if Lovelace does not find her?

5. Who wrote the letter about Lovelace that Solmes reads?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do you think it's right for Miss Howe to wear mourning clothes, even though Clarissa told her not to? Why or why not?

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

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

4. How does Clarissa selling her clothes to pay for her funeral reflect on her situation?

5. Do you think Clarissa should give in and marry Solmes? Why or why not?

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

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

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

9. It seems almost impossible for Clarissa to escape Lovelace. What factors combine to make it so hard for Clarissa to escape?

10. Do you believe Lovelace will really go through with his plot to rape Miss Howe and Mrs. Howe? Why or why not?

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

Give three examples of things that happen to Clarissa's body that are symbolic of the things that are happening to her life. Explain the symbolism in each case.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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