Search Menu


Samuel Richardson


Key Facts

Key Facts

full title ·  Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady

author · Samuel Richardson

type of work · Novel

genre · Epistolary, realist, psychological

language · English

time and place written ·  1740s, London

date of first publication ·  17471748 (7 serial volumes)

publisher · Samuel Richardson

narrator · None. The plot is presented in a series of letters written by the characters.

point of view · The story is told in a series of letters, giving the point of view of several characters. The characters provide information about one another, but there is no omniscient or objective narrator.

tone · Varies; Clarissa and Belford’s letters tend to be serious, while Lovelace and Anna’s are humorous and sometimes ironic.

tense · Present

setting (time) · Mid-eighteenth century

setting (place) · The English countryside; London

protagonist · Clarissa Harlowe

major conflict · Clarissa struggles to maintain her virtue against Lovelace’s plots and violence.

rising action · The Harlowe family, by trying to force Clarissa into a bad marriage, propels her into Lovelace’s control.

climax · Lovelace’s rape of Clarissa determines the final outcome of the plot, including her death and his downfall.

falling action · After the rape Clarissa escapes Lovelace and begins to prepare herself for death and heaven.

themes · The danger of rakes, virtue is rewarded eventually, a single false step brings disaster

motifs · Enclosure, dreams, money

symbols · Beauty, angels/devils, animals

foreshadowing · Before running away with Lovelace Clarissa dreams that he stabs her and throws her into a grave, foreshadowing that he will cause her death. Lovelace dreams about Clarissa ascending to heaven while he falls into hell, foreshadowing their fates in the afterlife.

More Help

Previous Next
This web source

by bigsparknoterman, June 19, 2017

This web source is quite useful if you are looking for some help with essay writing

essay help

by josephbanks, August 09, 2017

is a good website if you’re looking to get your essay written for you. You can also request things like research papers or dissertations. It’s really convenient and helpful. If you’ve got something very last-minute then it can be a little risky but either way it’s probably better than anything you can throw together .