Study Guide

Clarissa - Letters 240-246 dated June 10th Summary & Analysis

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Letters 240-246 dated June 10th Summary

Clarissa writes to Miss Howe that she is very upset about something and she will explain after the outcome, but Mr. Lovelace intercepts the letter and forges a letter wherein Clarissa promises to write more when Clarissa is feeling more steady. Miss Rawlins cannot decide between believing Clarissa and believing Mr. Lovelace. Mrs. Moore is placed in a difficult situation, since Mr. Lovelace has rented her entire house. Clarissa considers leaving Mrs. Moore's house after Mr. Lovelace leaves, but Miss Rawlins persuades her to stay, since Clarissa needs to hear from Miss Howe to find out where she will go next. Clarissa will not see anyone except Mrs. Moore.

Mr. Lovelace waits for Captain Tomlinson to arrive so Lovelace can complain about the treatment he received the day before. When Captain Tomlinson arrives, Clarissa refuses to see him until 4:00 in the afternoon. That afternoon, Clarissa and Captain Tomlinson discuss the fact that the reconciliation with the Harlowes is not possible if Clarissa refuses to marry Mr. Lovelace. Clarissa vents about Mr. Lovelace's lack of politeness and virtue. Captain Tomlinson begs Clarissa to forgive Mr. Lovelace for James's safety, but Clarissa will not forgive the indignity offered her. Mr. Lovelace enters the room, swearing it was an accident. She accuses Mr. Lovelace of using many artifices to gain her attention, and he defends his actions by stating it was the only way to spend time with her due to her extreme reserve. While Clarissa admits that she used to love him, she tells him that his lack of delicacy and manners appall her. Captain Tomlinson tries to persuade Clarissa that her anger is disproportionate to the offense, but she refuses to trust a man's opinion on whether she has carried her resentment too far. When Mr. Lovelace suggests Lady Betty mediate between them, Clarissa retires to her chamber to consider it. When she returns, she expresses distrust at the timing of Captain Tomlinson's proposals and the letters from Mr. Lovelace's family but agrees to consider seeing Lady Betty and Charlotte, if they arrive before Miss Howe's letter.

Captain Tomlinson laments his involvement in the schemes against Clarissa, which furthers Mr. Lovelace's resolve for revenge. It injures Mr. Lovelace's pride that Clarissa is more interested in him for the sake of reconciling with her family than for his sake. He will be unhappy without Clarissa, but his pride demands revenge.

Mr. Lovelace tells Mrs. Moore, Widow Bevis and Miss Rawlins that the ceremony is going to be re-performed for Uncle Harlowe. Mr. Lovelace begs Clarissa to appear less offended in front of Lady Betty, and Captain Tomlinson begs Clarissa to marry Mr. Lovelace immediately. When Mr. Lovelace leaves, Captain Tomlinson and Clarissa review the letters, but Clarissa is afraid to be softened in Mr. Lovelace's favor because she insists that he cannot love where he has so much insulted. She would rather live single than be forced to marry him, but she will not do anything without Miss Howe's advice.

Letters 240-246 dated June 10th Analysis

Mr. Lovelace continues intercepting the letters between Clarissa and Miss Howe proving his deviousness. The ladies are very confused whether to believe Clarissa or Mr. Lovelace, demonstrating his extreme manipulation of everyone around him, while Clarissa refrains from explaining anything. The arguments between Captain Tomlinson and Clarissa show Clarissa's implacability and parallel her family's stubborn, unforgiving nature. Clarissa's over-niceness and stubbornness are her only faults that manifest throughout this novel and this example is possibly the strongest. Captain Tomlinson's regret for his involvement in the schemes against Clarissa foreshadows his later repentance. Mr. Lovelace's pride manifests itself here horribly, where he could possibly possess what he wants but is unhappy because it is not for the reasons he wants. Marrying Clarissa is not good enough if she is marrying him to reconcile with her family instead of because she loves him. Clarissa's offer to live single parallels her identical offer when her family tried to force her to marry Mr. Solmes.

This section contains 678 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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