Study Guide

Clarissa - Letters 75-80 dated April 2nd through April 5th Summary & Analysis

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This section contains 865 words
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Letters 75-80 dated April 2nd through April 5th Summary

Mr. Lovelace worries that if Clarissa is conveyed to Uncle Antony's house, he will lose her forever because she will marry Mr. Solmes. Mr. Lovelace has discovered that Mr. Solmes has already assigned rooms for Clarissa and the nursery and has hired equipages for their wedding. Mr. Lovelace urges Clarissa to accept his aunt's protection, but Clarissa still hopes that Mrs. Howe will offer her protection.

Dr. Lewen is permitted to visit Clarissa, but confuses her when he evades discussing her confinement. Uncle Harlowe visits Clarissa and informs her that the family is very pleased with her agreeing to grant Mr. Solmes an interview, believing that she will yield to his marriage proposals as well. Aunt Hervey's message that the Harlowes expect this interview to be the beginning of her concession to the situation due to a misrepresentation by James and Arabella makes Clarissa very nervous and angry. Clarissa's response that Mr. Solmes is not good enough for her angers her aunt.

Betty announces that Mr. Solmes has arrives, and Clarissa enters the parlor as her family exits into an adjoining parlor. When Mr. Solmes' declarations of love for Clarissa receive her rebukes, Uncle Antony and James enter to chide her and prevent her exit. James injures Clarissa's hand in an attempt to place it into Mr. Solmes' hand. Mr. Solmes refuses to participate in injuring Clarissa, but James discourages the attempt to withdraw his suit. When Mr. Solmes reaffirms his intentions, Clarissa nearly faints and is permitted to cry in the garden for an hour. Cousin Dolly summons Clarissa and informs her that Mr. Solmes was willing to discontinue his addresses with the approbation of everyone except Mr. Harlowe, Uncle Antony, James and Arabella, until Mr. Harlowe argued for Clarissa's obedience. Dolly admits that if she were in the same position, she would have Mr. Lovelace "out of hand."

Fifteen minutes after Clarissa reenters the empty parlor, Mr. Solmes and Uncle Antony return. When James joins them to yell at Clarissa, who refuses to yield, Mr. Solmes intervenes in her behalf. Clarissa believes it is a farce to govern her and make her obliged to Mr. Solmes. Her pleas to see her parents result in the pronouncement that she will go to Uncle Antony's immediately, her chamber keys confiscated and her chamber searched. When nothing is found, her removal is extended until the next Monday, but Clarissa is forced into another interview with Mr. Solmes in the presence of Aunt Hervey and Uncle Antony, who assure Mr. Solmes that Clarissa's aversion will be conquered. Mr. Solmes reads an anonymous letter discussing Mr. Lovelace's faults. Silence prevails when Clarissa points out that everyone has faults, even Mr. Solmes. James' entrance and fight with Clarissa is shortened when Arabella summons him for their parents. Mr. Solmes joins James, and Arabella stays to argue with her sister. Mr. Solmes returns to take his leave but refuses to withdraw his suit at Clarissa's earnest request. After a bit more verbal abuse from her siblings, Clarissa is allowed to withdraw to her chamber, but is irritated to learn from Betty that Mr. Solmes is more in love and determined than ever. Betty also hints that Clarissa's pens and paper will soon be confiscated.

James tricks Clarissa into returning to the parlor to hear Mr. Solmes list more of Mr. Lovelace's faults, but Clarissa exits immediately to avoid the interview. Because Clarissa refuses to relinquish her writing supplies to Betty, Dolly collects them and informs Clarissa that she is to be sent to Uncle Antony's house by Saturday at the latest. Clarissa learns that her mother is sick and sends her concerns, but they are refused because Clarissa is blamed for the illness. Clarissa is informed that her garden walks and poultry visits are suspected and prohibited. Mr. Lovelace is not satisfied with the results of the interview and threatens the Harlowes.

Letters 75-80 dated April 2nd through April 5th Analysis

Mr. Solmes' arrogance and dependency on the Harlowes to convince Clarissa to marry him is displayed by his proportioning rooms for marriage as well as hiring equipages for the wedding. Based on Clarissa's experiences thus far, her hopes that Mrs. Howe will offer her protection seem likely to end in disappointment. The Harlowes' arrogance and pride is exhibited by their assurance that Clarissa will submit to marriage, since she has submitted to an interview. Clarissa shows her fairness by resenting Mr. Solmes' degradation of Mr. Lovelace. Mr. Solmes appears as a generous man with his offer to withdraw his suit, but his greed overrules any notions of a better character. The treatment Clarissa receives is very repetitious. She is threatened, but she gives her family something that they want, and her sentence to go to Uncle Antony's is temporarily removed. Her situation is becoming more desperate with the confiscation of her paper and pens. A crisis seems to be approaching quickly and it seems likely that Clarissa will have to make a decision that she would not otherwise make based on the untenable situation in which she has been placed.

This section contains 865 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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