Study Guide

Clarissa - Study Guide Letters 333-341 dated July 16th through July 19th Summary & Analysis

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Letters 333-341 dated July 16th through July 19th Summary

Mr. Belford is furious at Mr. Lovelace because Clarissa's arrest is indirectly Lovelace's fault. Clarissa refuses to see anyone on Sunday, so Mr. Belford agrees to see her on Monday. He visits Widow Sinclair's house to obtain the story of what happened exactly.

Will finds Clarissa and arranges her arrest under the charge of refusing to pay room and board at Widow Sinclair's house. Clarissa begs to be taken anywhere but Widow Sinclair's house and is taken to the officer's house, which serves as a jail. Sally arrives at the jail to charge and insult Clarissa. Clarissa refuses to write anyone to pay her bail and be released. She refuses the officer's offered bed and sleeps in the prisoner's quarters. She is upset that there is no lock on the inside of the door, but the jailer assures her of her safety. Clarissa is sad and will not eat. Polly and Sally offer to bail her out if she returns to Widow Sinclair's house but Clarissa refuses. They threaten to bail her out if she does not eat, so she promises to eat. She asks not to see Widow Sinclair, but the jailor informs her that she cannot deny a visit to her creditor, unless she refuses to pay, in which case she will be sent to prison. Clarissa is despondent and forced to eat bread and butter. Sally and Polly continually harass her. They offer to have Mr. Lovelace bail her out if she grants him an interview, but Clarissa refuses to that as well and finally consents to ask Miss Howe for a loan, telling them to sell her clothes in the meantime as payment, since she expects to die soon. Sally and Polly's abuse leave Clarissa in hysterics and she becomes very ill.

Mr. Belford goes to the jail the next day, but Clarissa refuses to see anyone except the jailor's wife and maid but he insists. Mr. Belford is horrified at her cell and wants to avenge her against Mr. Lovelace. Clarissa refuses help from Mr. Lovelace's friend, saying she would rather die in jail; she then faints. Mr. Belford forces Widow Sinclair to dismiss the action against Clarissa. Clarissa refuses to leave, so Mr. Belford goes to her lodgings to inform the Smiths what has happened and returns to Clarissa with a letter from Miss Howe and attempts again to convince her to return to her lodgings. Here Mr. Belford ends the story until Mr. Lovelace writes him angrily demanding more. Mr. Belford assures Clarissa that Mr. Lovelace did not instigate her imprisonment and promises that she will not be bothered when she returns to her lodgings. She is finally prevailed upon to take the chair back to the Smiths' residence, and Mr. Belford has her belongings sent to her from Widow Sinclair's house.

The next morning, Clarissa is too ill to see Mr. Belford but agrees to see him in the evening. The apothecary that is tending to Clarissa claims that her illness is grief. Mr. Belford assures Mr. Lovelace that Clarissa's lodgings are comfortable and the servants agreeable and trustworthy. Clarissa reads her letters from Miss Howe but is too ill to respond. She has a gentlewoman in the lodgings, Widow Lovick, write to Miss Howe that she is too ill to write but will respond as soon as she is well enough to write herself. Mr. Belford meets with Clarissa in the parlor and tells her he is acquainted with her story, praising her. He recites Mr. Lovelace's sorrow and hopes for marriage, but Clarissa is unable to forgive him and promises to write to Miss Howe on the subject. Mr. Belford is convinced Clarissa does not hate Mr. Lovelace, but she condemns his contrivances and never wants to see him again. She refuses Mr. Belford's offer of money. John Belford wishes he had done more to prevent Mr. Lovelace from ruining Clarissa. John Belford convinces Clarissa to allow a doctor to tend her and the doctor determines that her illness is low spirits and grief in love. Mr. Lovelace does not believe that Clarissa's heart is broken. Clarissa insists upon paying the doctor and asks Mrs. Smith and Widow Lovick to sell two of her suits for money. Mr. Belford gives Mrs. Smith twenty guineas to give Clarissa as partial payments for her suits. Mr. Lovelace promises not to molest Clarissa as long as John Belford continues writing minutely about everything that happens.

Letters 333-341 dated July 16th through July 19th Analysis

Mr. Belford blames Clarissa being jailed indirectly on Mr. Lovelace, which foreshadows Mr. Lovelace's indirect fault in Clarissa's death. Clarissa demonstrates her intense fear of Widow Sinclair and her brothel by begging to be taken anywhere else. Polly and Sally continually taunt Clarissa while she is jailed and alternately offer and threaten to bail her out. These scenes are very repetitious and serve to show Clarissa's mind being worn out. Clarissa refuses help from Mr. Lovelace's friend, and when Mr. Belford has the charges dropped, she refuses to leave, demonstrating her fear of Mr. Lovelace's molestation. Mr. Belford's discontinuance of his narration until hearing from Mr. Lovelace parallels Mr. Lovelace's story telling and serves to demonstrate to Mr. Lovelace the irritating nature of his own writing. Clarissa finally agrees to return to the Smiths' residence at Mr. Belford insistence, which foreshadows his assistance and her future confidence in John Belford.

Clarissa's death is foreshadowed by the apothecary's diagnosis of grief, the doctor's diagnosis of a broken heart and low spirits and her being too ill to respond to Miss Howe. Clarissa's inability to forgive Mr. Lovelace foreshadows the fact that she will not reconcile with him before her death. John Belford's wish that he had prevented Mr. Lovelace from ruining Clarissa foreshadows his reformation. Mr. Lovelace does not believe Clarissa's heart is broken, foreshadowing his refusal to accept responsibility for Clarissa's illness and death. Mr. Lovelace's promise not to molest Clarissa as long as John Belford writes minutely about everything that occurs, foreshadows Mr. Belford's involvement in Clarissa's last days, as well as Mr. Lovelace not seeing Clarissa again.

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