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. Why do the women at Mrs. Moore's house take Lovelace's side?

2. Which of the following best describes the style of this book?

3. What does the Widow Sinclair overhear that makes her angry with Clarissa?

4. What two reasons does Clarissa give for not visiting Lovelace's aunt, Lady Betty Lawrence?

5. What advice does Mrs. Howe send to Clarissa?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. Do you agree with Lovelace's interpretation of Clarissa's letter about going to her "father's house"? Why or why not?

3. Lovelace says he does not want to use force, but he doesn't know how to overcome Clarissa's will. What options does he have?

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

5. 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?

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

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

8. Why do you think Clarissa keeps refusing the money people offer her?

9. Do you think Clarissa wants to marry Lovelace? Why or why not?

10. How does Belford's behavior after Clarissa's death develop his character?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

Compare and contrast Widow Lovick and Widow Sinclair. Why is the status of each woman as a widow important?

(see the answer keys)

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