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 visits Lovelace's bedroom in her nightgown, what does she ask him?

2. How does Miss Howe recommend Clarissa save her reputation?

3. Who does Lovelace persuade Clarissa to allow to serve as a mediator between them at Mrs. Moore's house?

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

5. Who is Tomlinson, really?

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. After Clarissa reveals that Lovelace used drugs to ravish her, the Howes suggest legal action. Why do you think no one brought up this idea before?

3. Why is Clarissa's response to Charlotte explaining why she can't marry Lovelace ironic?

4. Does Clarissa's behavior with her coffin reinforce the earlier development of her character? Why or why not?

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

6. After Lovelace has his "debate" with the God of Love, do you believe he has really changed his intentions toward Clarissa?

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

8. What options does Clarissa have other than seeking protection with Lovelace's aunt?

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

10. Does Clarissa's challenge to debate with James change what you think of her character? Why or why not?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The plot of "Clarissa" is very repetitive. As we have discussed, this repetition should be considered as a conscious strategy on the part of Richardson. Discuss the effect of repetition in the novel, being sure to address (1) Clarissa's repeated efforts to escape, both from Harlowe Place and from Lovelace, (2) Lovelace's repeated changes of heart about how to behave, and (3) the repeated efforts by Mrs. Howe to stop the letters exchanged between Miss Howe and Clarissa.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast three of the places Clarissa lives during the book. How does each setting reflect the people who live in it and Clarissa's situation at the time she lives there?

(see the answer keys)

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