Samuel Richardson's "Clarissa" Analytical Essay by kirst

Samuel Richardson's "Clarissa"
An analysis of Samuel Richardson's 'Clarissa' and an interpretation of her character.
# 2161 | 1,395 words | 2 sources | 1999 | US
Published on Feb 16, 2003 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , English (General) , Women Studies (General)

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This essay focuses on Samuel Richardson's "Clarissa" and Clarissa's position in eighteenth century patriarchal society. It examines Clarissa's goodness against the immoral desires of her family and an oppressive society. The author describes how throughout her struggle, Clarissa maintains her goodness and remains admirable in contrast to the immense social forces that stand against her.

From the Paper:

"Clarissa Harlowe is shaped by eighteenth century patriarchal society. As her individual goodness conflicts with the immoral desires of her family, she reacts against their oppressive expectations. The Harlowe family is driven by economic interests, which overpower human decency and love. Clarissa's lasting goodness becomes her defense and only power over those of whom she is constrained. Clarissa desires to challenge the roles set for her in society. In her struggle to escape, Clarissa discovers that she is very much a part of the patriarchal world that has shaped her. In Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, Clarissa Harlowe remains an admirable character despite the powerful social forces against and within her."

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