But how know I that I have not made my own difficulties?—Is
she not a woman?—What redress lies for a perpetrated evil?—Must she not <em>live? </em>(256.25)
often consider the double standard for men and women, but he's definitely
starting to figure it out. We'd give him props if he wasn't such a jerk.
I am inexpressible concerned at the fate of this matchless
Belford's all about
stating the obvious. Lovelace has majorly screwed Clarissa's chances of having
a normal life, even though the same actions haven't affected his reputation at
But you seem to be sensible enough of your errors now! So
are all giddy girls, when it is too late—and what a crestfallen figure then
does their self-willed obstinacy and headstrongness compel them to make!
Mrs. Howe really
knows how to rub salt in a wound. Notice how she refuses to call Clarissa a
woman? Seems like there's a difference between girls and women, as well as
between women and men.
We have an angel, not a woman, with us, Mrs. Smith! (349.13)
so-called ruin, her friends have to come up with new ways of talking about her.
They still respect her, but their respect now goes beyond gendered
expectations. She's so good she's not even human anymore.
But our sex are generally modest and bashful themselves, and
are too apt to consider that, which in the main is their principal grace, as a
defect; and finely do
they judge, when they think of supplying that defect by choosing a man who
cannot be ashamed (367.57)
Anna's getting a
little complicated up in here, so let's break it down: she thinks ladies are
usually attracted to their opposites. Even more complicated: women are supposed
to be angelically good, so does that mean that men are demonically bad?
</em>It shall ever be a rule with me, that he who does
not regard a woman with some degree of reverence, will look upon her, and
occasionally <em>treat </em>her,
with contempt (367.60)
So what's the right
thing to do: put women up on a pedestal? Anna seems to think so. But we have a
major counter example in the form of Clarissa. If Lovelace hadn't idolized her,
maybe he wouldn't have gone to such lengths to knock her down.
But to collect his character from his principles with regard
to the sex in general,
and from his enterprises upon many of them, and to consider the
cruelty of his nature and the sportiveness of his invention, together with the
high opinion he has himself, it will not be doubted that a wife of his must
have been miserable […] (379.5)
It's hard out there
for a pimp—or a rake. Even if Lovelace wanted to settle down, he'd never be
able to make a woman happy. Bad boys might be sexy, but they're no good as
Let me, our dearest cousin (we cannot deny ourselves the
pleasure of calling you so), let me entreat you to give me your permission for
my journey to London; and put it in the power of Lord M., and the ladies of the
family to make you what reparation they can make you […] (384.3)
It's pretty cool that
the women in Lovelace's family step up to embrace Clarissa as their own, even
when her own family rejects her. Or are they just trying to save face by
pretending that some sort of marriage happened? (Also, contrast this to the
women in Clarissa's family, who flat-out reject her.)
But surely, Belford, the devil's in this lady! (395.5)
Here's a change in
Lovelace's tune. Although he's been calling Clarissa an angel, he abruptly
slips back into his usual rhetoric of framing her as a recalcitrant woman when
she won't do what he wants.
But that, notwithstanding all her acquirements, she was an
excellent ECONOMIST and HOUSEWIFE (529.29)
Cool it with the
all-caps, Anna. But it's kind of interesting how Anna praises the (deceased)
Clarissa as the one thing she never truly got to be: a housewife.