Study Guide

Clarissa - Letters 65-74 dated March 30th through April 2nd Summary & Analysis

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This section contains 709 words
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Letters 65-74 dated March 30th through April 2nd Summary

Mrs. Howe's cousin, Larkin, calls Mrs. Howe, her executrix, to her deathbed, and Mrs. Howe forces Miss Howe, escorted by Mr. Hickman, to accompany her. Miss Howe angers her mother by her rudeness to Mr. Hickman. Clarissa condemns Miss Howe's insolent actions toward Mr. Hickman when she hears this, and points out Miss Howe's luck in being urged to accept a man to whom there are no real objections. Mr. Hickman, unknown to Miss Howe, suggests withdrawing his suit to Mrs. Howe. He feels that Miss Howe's aversion to him is similar to Clarissa's aversion to Mr. Solmes and does not desire to put Miss Howe in a similar situation. Mrs. Howe encourages him to proceed if he loves Miss Howe, assuring him that Miss Howe would refuse to see him if she were truly averse to him.

Miss Howe advises Clarissa to hide all of her writings and some clothes by Green Lane in case the situation becomes desperate. Meanwhile, Miss Howe will petition Mrs. Howe to offer Clarissa their protection, using Clarissa's letter and Mr. Hickman if necessary. Clarissa is hopeful that Mrs. Howe will afford her protection until Colonel Morden arrives and sends Miss Howe a parcel of her letters; however, she is unable to send clothes because Betty monitors them, seemingly through the Harlowes' suspicion that Clarissa will run away.

Miss Howe approves of Clarissa's word and actions, and she trusts that Clarissa will behave properly in her interview with Mr. Solmes. She believes that Mr. Lovelace and Clarissa will reconcile, but she informs Clarissa that she has heard very negative things about him in her inquiries. Clarissa has not heard from Mr. Lovelace and assumes he is as vexed as she is, which may negate a reconciliation between them. Sources inform Miss Howe that Mr. Lovelace appeared with different women at each event while he was in town. Miss Howe's inquiries also convince her that Mr. Lovelace has ruined or plans to ruin Rosebud and then, fortune her out to her lover. Miss Howe plans to visit Rosebud and her father to warn them. Outraged at these intentions against Rosebud, Clarissa decides to discontinue her acquaintance with Mr. Lovelace if these rumors are justified. Miss Howe's visit to Rosebud and her father acquaint her with the truth of the matter, and she relays her information to Clarissa that Mr. Lovelace has not ruined the girl and is providing her with the capability to marry her lover, a local carpenter, by providing her with 100 pounds.

Mr. Lovelace apologizes to Clarissa for his previous anger. He expresses his concern and regret that she will grant Mr. Solmes an interview but not himself. Clarissa assures Mr. Lovelace that she does not intend to encourage Mr. Solmes, but she also reminds him that her rejection of Mr. Solmes does not guarantee an acceptance of Mr. Lovelace. Her hopes lie in stalling the proposed ceremony until Colonel Morden's return.

Letters 65-74 dated March 30th through April 2nd Analysis

Mr. Hickman's discouragement sets him as a foil to Mr. Solmes, who has received a direct statement from Clarissa that she will not marry him. Mr. Hickman's character shows that he is an honest, gentle and generous man; whereas, Mr. Solmes is deceitful, violent and selfish. Mr. Hickman's gentleness of manners is also a foil to Mr. Lovelace's violent spirits. Miss Howe's treatment towards Mr. Hickman appears to imply that she does not want him, but Clarissa's disapproval of this treatment indicates that she may know her friend's heart better than Miss Howe knows her own heart. Miss Howe's advise to Clarissa to hide some clothes foreshadows Clarissa's elopement. Miss Howe's inquiries provide evidence of her high quality as a friend, showing the lengths she will inconvenience herself to in order to assist Clarissa. Mr. Lovelace's apology provides evidence that he is a dynamic character with passionate outbursts followed by moments of sincerity and sobriety. The fact that Mrs. Howe trusts Clarissa's actions in her interview and approves of her previous actions and words suggests that Clarissa is capable of making good decisions on her own, possibly more so than Miss Howe.

This section contains 709 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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