Study Guide

Clarissa - Study Guide Letters 460-476 dated September 4th through September 7th Summary & Analysis

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Letters 460-476 dated September 4th through September 7th Summary

The Harlowes' meeting upsets Clarissa very much. Clarissa is very ill but has no bodily pain. She shows Mr. Belford where her will is, along with a parcel of papers with instructions, before sealing her apparel trunk. She receives a letter from Colonel Morden and asks Mr. Belford to read it aloud to her, since she is unable to read it. Colonel Morden sets out for town before receiving Clarissa's last letter. When he receives it, he returns to show the letter to Uncle Antony and Uncle Harlowe, who are moved and take a copy to Harlowe Place to obtain Clarissa's last blessings. Colonel Morden wants Clarissa to travel with him for several years. Mr. Belford advises Colonel Morden to hasten his trip to London if he wants to see Clarissa alive. The doctor sends a letter to Mr. Harlowe describing Clarissa's illness and warning of her imminent death. Mr. Brand responds to his friend and informant, Mr. John Walton, that he already had began to suspect he had made a mistake in his representation of Clarissa's character. He writes to Uncle Harlowe expressing his sorrow that his account widened differences between Clarissa and the Harlowes. He has received two letters that correct his thinking, and he praises Clarissa and communicates the expectation that she will die soon.

Mr. Lovelace worries about Clarissa and is impatient for updates. He is jealous that Mr. Belford is always near Clarissa, but blames himself for his actions against her. He wishes Clarissa would live longer so he can avoid blaming himself. Mr. Belford moves to the Smiths' lodgings to be closer to Clarissa. Clarissa informs Mrs. Norton that she has named John Belford as her executor due to the strife between her family and herself. She hopes that her corpse will be permitted burial in the Harlowe family vault. She promises to be happy in her death and declares that she does not want to see anyone because it will add to their grief and may make her regret dying. She sends her love and comfort to her family and friends. Her only grief is leaving her friends in sorrow. Clarissa is sad when the doctor shares his expectation that she will only live another day or two. She asks about Mr. Lovelace but refuses to see him still. She pities him and admits that she could have loved him. Clarissa forgives Mr. Lovelace, and Mr. Belford and the minister urge Clarissa to see Mr. Lovelace once more but she refuses. Mr. Lovelace is concerned that he does not deserve Clarissa's forgiveness.

The doctor expects Clarissa to die by the next night. Miss Howe mourns not attending Clarissa sooner and offers to go to London immediately with permission. Clarissa is too weak to write but dictates a response that she will meet Miss Howe in the hereafter, where they will never part again. Colonel Morden arrives and views Clarissa sleeping. When she wakes, he hides to avoid surprising her, and Mr. Belford asks Clarissa if she will see Colonel Morden in half an hour, to which she agrees. Colonel Morden pretends to approach from downstairs and embraces Clarissa, expressing his regret that he did not come sooner. He brings her the accrual from her estate and confirms Mr. Lovelace's contrition. Clarissa thanks Colonel Morden for acting in her behalf before fainting. The doctor is sent to Clarissa, who doubts she will live through the night. She requests to see Colonel Morden but has convulsions and is unable to see him. He waits in the house for Clarissa to regain composure. Clarissa spends all her strength in prayer and urges John Belford and Colonel Morden not to grieve because she is happy to die. She sends her last request to Mrs. Norton and assures everyone that there is time enough after her death for it to be fulfilled. Colonel Morden writes Uncle Harlowe that it is too late to worry about reconciliation with Clarissa. Colonel Morden is shocked that Clarissa sells her clothes for money and her presence of mind in preparing her will and organizing her funeral. Clarissa removes her miniature of Miss Howe from her bosom and directs it be given to Mr. Hickman after her death.

Letters 460-476 dated September 4th through September 7th Analysis

Clarissa's assurances and her lack of bodily pain foreshadow her peaceful death. Uncle Harlowe and Uncle Antony's reaction to Clarissa's letter to Colonel Morden foreshadows the reconciliation. Unfortunately, Clarissa's declining health and the doctor's predictions foreshadow Clarissa's death. This suggest that the reconciliation will come too late, which is foreshadowed by Colonel Morden's letter to Uncle Harlowe indicating such. Mr. Lovelace's desire to avoid blaming himself manifests itself through blaming others and foreshadows his blaming the Harlowes after Clarissa's death. Colonel Morden's arrival to London barely in time to see Clarissa alive is ironic because it facilitates his duel with Mr. Lovelace, since he would not likely have had enough regret for losing Clarissa to instigate such a fight if he had not been reacquainted with her virtue. Clarissa's removal of her miniature of Miss Howe and directing it to Mr. Hickman foreshadows her approaching death and indicates her approval and assurance of Miss Howe marrying Mr. Hickman.

This section contains 877 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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