Study Guide

Clarissa - Study Guide Letters 46-55 dated March 22nd through March 24th Summary & Analysis

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Letters 46-55 dated March 22nd through March 24th Summary

Miss Howe jokingly suggests that Clarissa attempt to negotiate to marry Mr. Hickman instead of Mr. Solmes or Mr. Lovelace. Mr. Hickman's visit interrupts Miss Howe's letter writing, which irritates her, so Miss Howe is pettish and rude to him. She characterizes all three men as schoolboys in her imagination. Miss Howe insults the Harlowes, blaming Mrs. Harlowe's submission to her husband for the treatment that Clarissa is currently receiving. Mr. Hickman encounters some of Mr. Lovelace's vulgar friends, who praise his personality but cannot defend his morals. Mr. Lovelace visits Miss Howe, reiterating his offer of protection for Clarissa and threatening violence if Clarissa becomes Mrs. Solmes. Mr. Lovelace agrees that Clarissa should resume her estate.

James writes Clarissa to inform her that she is being sent to Uncle Antony's to receive visits from Mr. Solmes for two weeks, where she will not be able to correspond with Miss Howe or Mr. Lovelace. At the end of the two weeks, the Harlowes will reconsider if Clarissa still despises Mr. Solmes. Clarissa refuses to go on James' command because he is not her parents. James returns the news in gentler language with a superscription bearing Mrs. Harlowe's authority. Clarissa addresses her parents with the fear of being so far away from them under her siblings' discipline. James replies with the same thing and her letter torn into pieces. Clarissa is so enraged that she considers asking Uncle Harlowe about resuming her estate but reflects that no one would support her decision.

Clarissa is furious when she overhears James, Arabella and Mr. Solmes mocking her and discussing the need to have her married in a hurry before Colonel Morden returns and grants Clarissa independence. Clarissa writes James with several suggestions to avoid Mr. Solmes and challenges him to a debate, causing an uproar. Arabella tells Clarissa she will be sent to Uncle Antony's house the next day, but Clarissa refuses to go unless the command comes directly out of her parents' mouths. Arabella restrains Clarissa when she threatens to barge in on parents. Arabella informs Clarissa via letter that James will accept her challenge to debate, and Clarissa forwards the note to Mrs. Harlowe for her authority, which is provided. Clarissa wishes that Mr. Solmes were more like Mr. Hickman.

Letters 46-55 dated March 22nd through March 24th Analysis

Miss Howe's suggestion that Clarissa petition to request Mr. Hickman as an alternative is paralleled by Clarissa's wish that Mr. Solmes were more like Mr. Hickman. Mr. Lovelace's agreement with Miss Howe concerning Clarissa's resumption of her estate shows a similarity between the two, which is reinforced by the similar tone that runs through each one's letters. Clarissa's refusal to obey James shows a rebelliousness and stubbornness that is beginning to portray itself in Clarissa's actions. Clarissa's challenge to debate with James shows an arrogance that has not yet been seen in Clarissa's mild temper.

This section contains 500 words
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