Study Guide

Clarissa - Letters 89-97 dated April 9th through April 10th Summary & Analysis

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Letters 89-97 dated April 9th through April 10th Summary

Clarissa absolutely refuses to allow Miss Howe to accompany her but decides to delay her departure again because of her fear of Mr. Lovelace. Clarissa writes and deposits a letter conveying the desire for a delay to Mr. Lovelace and is very concerned when he has not received it by the time of their appointment. She now feels required to meet him to inform him that she will not leave immediately.

Her family has convinced Mrs. Norton to arrive a week before the wedding to help convince Clarissa of her duty in obeying her parents, but Dr. Lewen has refused to perform the ceremony without Clarissa's consent and a new clergyman, Mr. Brand, has been invited instead. Although she suffers for voicing her opinion, Dolly is unhappy with the way Clarissa is being treated and writes to tell her that she will be searched again for pen and paper. Clarissa leaves several memorandums in a spot likely to be discovered, so that she can avoid the consequences that would accompany her family finding nothing after Betty saw ink on Clarissa's finger. While Clarissa is waiting in the ivy summer-house for her dinner per her appointment with Mr. Lovelace, Aunt Hervey requests her keys to search Clarissa's chambers again because of the suspicion that Clarissa is still sending letters out.

Clarissa's next letter simply states that she has run off with Mr. Lovelace and will send more particulars when she has the opportunity, but she hopes that Miss Howe will still love her. Miss Howe reaffirms her affection and does not blame her but does advise her to marry Mr. Lovelace immediately if she has not already done so.

When Clarissa tells Mr. Lovelace that she is not leaving yet, he attempts to force her because he is sure that Wednesday is to be the day of wedding, since the license and parson have already been obtained for the ceremony. Clarissa decides to end the interview with Lovelace and return to her house but is stopped when Mr. Lovelace attempts to accompany her, declaring he would rather die than see her be Mrs. Solmes. At this point, a voice in the garden shouts that the owner sees Clarissa with Mr. Lovelace. Clarissa, scared, runs away from the voice with Mr. Lovelace pulling her along and into his chariot. Clarissa ponders if Mr. Lovelace contrived for Joseph Leman to yell and swears that she will hate him that proves to be true. She will not marry Mr. Lovelace immediately in case her elopement was the result of a contrivance, because he does not deserve to be rewarded so easily for dishonesty. On the day of the planned wedding, Clarissa mourns that her elopement is much worse than the wedding could have been.

Mr. Lovelace writes to Joseph Leman before his appointment with Clarissa instructing him in the means of causing confusion in case Clarissa attempts to change her mind. Joseph agrees to follow Mr. Lovelace's instructions. After the elopement, Mr. Lovelace informs John Belford of his joy, which is somewhat abated by the suspicion that Clarissa cruelly does not prefer him to any other man. He believes Clarissa will be more cheerful when she sees how well he adheres to all of her commands.

Letters 89-97 dated April 9th through April 10th Analysis

Clarissa's refusal for Miss Howe and she to move to London and her decision to postpone her interview with Mr. Lovelace are both repetitious from previous letters. The obtaining of the parson and the license prove the Harlowes' intentions for Clarissa's wedding are very much in earnest and assist in driving Clarissa into Lovelace's arms. Clarissa's letter to Miss Howe informing her that she has run away with Mr. Lovelace is the resolution to this part of the novel and a prelude to a greater crises. Mr. Lovelace's behavior to Clarissa foreshadows his behavior when she is completely under his power. Her suspicions against him are confirmed to be true in his letters that follow. His contrivances are seen here for the first time on a grand scale and foreshadow his future schemes. Mr. Lovelace's pride is reflected in the diminished joy he feels due to a suspicion that Clarissa does not prefer him.

This section contains 722 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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