Dr. Laura L. Runge
ENL 6236 Beauty and Violence in the Enlightenment
DUE: Post #11; Clarissa reading journal;
Notes and Discussion Questions:
After you finish reading the text, think back on some of the arguments we have read in our scholarship this semester and test the theories/arguments against your understanding of the novel as a whole. For example, is this a reformative text? Does Belford supply the place of the reformed? Does Lovelace reform? Or, per Zias, does the text fail in its reformative purpose?
Consider the elements of time and dramatic irony in the Harlowe's reconciliation with Clarissa. What is the effect of their letters arriving AFTER she died (and refusing the chariot to Mrs. Norton)? What is the impact of Clarissa's letters to each of the members of her circle?
Examine the rituals of death and funeral rites. What is the symbolic function? What is the narrative function? What is the sociological or anthropological impact?
Miss Howe and Belford are very concerned in the transmission of the story of Clarissa. Why? Does this concern become manifest in the narrative structure? If so, how?
How might we understand the history of Clarissa as a Christian allegory? In what sense is it a tragedy? What role does the postscript play in determining the meaning of the narrative?
In terms of beauty and violence, what does the novel contribute to Enlightenment discourses? Is Lovelace's death justified? Does it expatiate? What are the implications of the position you take on these questions?
Separately, please send me a brief email evaluating YOUR OWN PARTICIPATION in this class thus far. Please consider the guidelines I have written in the syllabus: Students are expected to be present and active for each class. Full participation includes preparation of all readings; completion of writing assigments outside and inside class; active listening and questioning; respect for and interaction with other members of the class. Periodic self-evaluations for participation will be required throughout the term and used in conjuction with attendance records for grading this assignment.
On a scale of 1 to 4 (4 being the best), please grade your participation (this can reflect your attendance as well).