Study Guide

Clarissa - Letters 439-446 dated August 28th through August 31st Summary & Analysis

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Letters 439-446 dated August 28th through August 31st Summary

Mr. Lovelace is angry at Mr. Belford for not informing him of the means of Clarissa's reconciliation with her family and claims he will be embarrassed if Clarissa lied. Mr. Belford presides over Mr. Belton's last offices and returns to find Clarissa expecting to live a week or less. Clarissa asks if Mr. Lovelace will bother her again and explains her letter is an allegory that states she is going to her father's house, meaning her heavenly father, not Mr. Harlowe. She will receive Mr. Lovelace if he reforms and meets her in heaven. She hopes that Mr. Lovelace is not upset about the allegory and will not molest her. She begs Mr. Belford to prevent any mischief that may arise from Mr. Lovelace and Colonel Morden's interview. Clarissa and her doctor discuss her pending death and Clarissa is very calm and rational. The doctor offers to write to the Harlowes to initiate the reconciliation, but Clarissa wants to see if Colonel Morden is able to mediate for her.

Colonel Morden visits Mr. Lovelace and they discuss the events that lead to the elopement. They argue and nearly fight but Lord M intervenes. They argue again and Mr. Mowbray enters the room and offends Colonel Morden. Mr. Lovelace and Lord M restrain Mr. Mowbray and Colonel Morden from fighting. Lord M mediates as Colonel Morden and Mr. Lovelace argue at length. Eventually, they discuss the proposal and Mr. Lovelace acquaints Colonel Morden with Clarissa's rejection. Colonel Morden plans to promote the marriage and Mr. Lovelace apologizes for his high spirits by blaming them on his guilty conscience. Mr. Lovelace informs Colonel Morden about his attempts to reconcile with Clarissa, and Colonel Morden acquaints Mr. Lovelace with Mr. Brand's letter that resulted in the Harlowes' severe letters to Clarissa. Mr. Belford blames Mr. Lovelace for blackening Clarissa's character to whiten his own and expresses anger at Mr. Mowbray's offer of violence to Colonel Morden, who was defending the injustice done to Clarissa. Clarissa is happy to know that no violence resulted from the meeting.

Charlotte copies Mr. Brand's letter but is displeased that her writing is being sent to a single man. Mr. Lovelace suggests that Mr. Belford marry Charlotte after his reformation. Mr. Brand's letter to Uncle Harlowe states that Clarissa is very ill and often goes to church but Mr. Brand implies that Clarissa is undertaking clandestine meetings. Mr. Lovelace's friend is a constant visitor and he tried to ingratiate himself with Mr. Hickman during that gentleman's visit to Clarissa. Brand suggests that John Belford gives Clarissa money, and Mr. Brand recommends the family enforce their scheme to put Clarissa out of their hearing. He attributes his information to his friend's wife. The Smiths tell Mr. Belford who Mr. Brand's informants are and Mr. Belford approaches them to curse their comments and the results. They offer to write Mr. Brand to clear up any misunderstandings. Clarissa vindicates her family's severity after learning of the contents of Mr. Brand's letter.

Letters 439-446 dated August 28th through August 31st Analysis

Mr. Belford's descriptions of Clarissa's declining health foreshadow her death. Clarissa's worry about the meeting between Mr. Lovelace and Colonel Morden, combined with their arguments during their interview, foreshadow their duel that results in Mr. Lovelace's death. Clarissa's calmness during the discussion with her doctor about her death foreshadows her peaceful death. Charlotte's displeasure at her writing being sent to a single man and Mr. Lovelace's intimations that Mr. Belford marry Charlotte after his reformation, foreshadow Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Belford. Mr. Brand's informants' agreement to write to Mr. Brand to clear up any misunderstandings foreshadows the reconciliation of Clarissa's family to her.

This section contains 631 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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