How Ugly and Harsh

One of the things that strikes me in Lets 10-14, Feb 27- Mar 2 (note we cannot really read them on the right days since Richardson cunningly rearranges days for different effects) is how harsh everyone is to Clarissa. How ugly it all is, and how love is seen wholly as sex and sex itself is seen as ugly. No wonder the girl is unable to look into herself. If she doesn't like Solmes, she must like Lovelace; sordid motives and feelings are assumed throughout; Anna is no different from the others; in her power plays with her mother and Hickman she recalls Sir Charles Grandison's sister's (to me) distasteful behavior to her husband (whose name I forget). Either money or lust; either humiliation or triumph. If you are sweet or unselfish, you are a fool and to be despised & exploited. James's metaphor of sons as chickens for one's own table, and then Clary matches the guy with her "whereas daughters are chickens brought up for the tables of other men," and this is called "a temporary pleasantry." The family expects Clarissa to knuckle under. Clarissa wants something better; there is something finer in than the animal; it's not that she does not see the assumptions the family & Anna make (thus she beats James at his "pleasantries"); it's that she refuses to agree this is all; this I have always thought was central to her point view, and one of the reasons she's got me on her side already.

Ellen Moody

Home Contact Ellen Moody.
Pagemaster: Jim Moody.
Page Last Updated 10 January 2003