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Evelina; or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 83 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Evelina; or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World.
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Critical Essay #3

This central episode introduces the purloined letter and the forged reply. The letter never reaches Orville because Willoughby purloins it, forges an impertinent answer, and signs Orville's name. Woman's letter, her "name" is purloined through Willoughby by the patriarchal "name of the father."

When Evelina's letter is diverted from its path, it becomes purloined in another sense. Purloigner in the French means to put aside or put amiss, to suffer, a letter in sufferance trapped in a discourse it does not initiate, a letter effectively silenced. So trapped, Evelina herself becomes a letter in sufferance. Nonetheless, when the letter is diverted from its "proper" course, it does not cease to function. Evelina's letter overreaches authorial intention and male possession, initiating a chain of unpredictable changes in whoever comes to read it. She intends her letter to represent her "truely" to Orville, whereas Willoughby intends his letter persuasively to...

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This section contains 4,033 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Evelina; or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World Study Guide
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Evelina; or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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