Study Guide

Clarissa - Study Guide Letters 22-30 dated March 5th through March 12th Summary & Analysis

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Letters 22-30 dated March 5th through March 12th Summary

Mr. Lovelace hears that Clarissa is going to marry Mr. Solmes and begs for her permission to meet with her father and uncles to propose equal settlements. If Clarissa will not permit that, he offers her asylum through his family. The Harlowes and Mr. Solmes are going to church, and Clarissa asks to go in the afternoon and is directed to James for permission. James tells Clarissa to pray privately. Clarissa is concerned by Lovelace's intimate knowledge of everything that passes among members of her family. When Mr. Lovelace demands a promise that Clarissa will never marry Mr. Solmes, Clarissa tells him that she does not love Mr. Solmes or Mr. Lovelace and would prefer to remain single. She also insists upon discontinuing their secretive correspondence. Clarissa is furious with Mr. Lovelace because he appeared in church and gave the Harlowes evil looks, except Mrs. Harlowe, who he acknowledged respectfully.

When Clarissa's maid, Hannah, is fired for suspicions concerning Clarissa's secret correspondences, Clarissa is distressed, but is even more so when Betty, Arabella's maid, is sent to wait on her. James writes Clarissa to tell her that she is to be confined to her chambers and only permitted in the gardens when no one else is there. Clarissa has become a prisoner in her own home. When Clarissa writes Mrs. Harlowe begging to be admitted to her parents' presence because she feels that her siblings are laying snares for her, her mother is very angry at the insinuations against her other children. Clarissa writes to James and Arabella, insinuating a love for Mr. Lovelace in hopes that they will stop bothering her when they think that their tyranny is producing the result opposite from their desires, but both respond with a command to stop bothering them.

Miss Howe advises Clarissa to resume control of her estate and live at the Grove, but Clarissa refuses. Miss Howe pains Clarissa when Miss Howe mildly condemns the Harlowes and expresses her disgust with Mr. Solmes, especially in comparison to Mr. Lovelace. Mrs. Howe reads Miss Howe's letter and chides her for encouraging Clarissa to disobey the Harlowes, insisting that parents should have absolute authority.

Letters 22-30 dated March 5th through March 12th Analysis

Mr. Lovelace's contrivances are first introduced discreetly here as he knows intimate details about the Harlowes' household that Clarissa is not communicating to him. This foreshadows his invasion into Harlowe Place later through his spy. Irony is present in the fact that James forbids Clarissa to go to church. Her family tells her to be a better child and person, which insinuates a need for prayer, but then they forbid her to attend services. Clarissa's confinement parallels her later confinement with Mr. Lovelace. The tone of Clarissa's letters to members of her family is supplicating; whereas, their letters to her have a demanding, insolent tone. Miss Howe shows an example of explicit judgment in her letters to Clarissa, judging and condemning the Harlowes for treating Clarissa poorly.

This section contains 503 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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