Study Guide

Clarissa Pride

By Samuel Richardson

Pride

Pride goeth before a fall. Truer words were never spoken in Clarissa-land, where everyone's got something to prove. If we could get the Harlowe family on Dr. Phil's couch, we might ask them to break down exactly why pride is more important than keeping family bonds intact (and if we could answer that question, we'd be raking in the millions).

In Clarissa, pride has a lot to do with two things: wealth and reputation. Either you have 'em or you don't, but no one wants to admit that they've fallen short. James and Arabella want their sis to marry Mr. Moneybags and be done with it, but Clarissa's is more worried about keeping a solid rep. 

Questions About Pride

  1. What is it about Lovelace that wounds James's ego so much? Or does James see something in Lovelace that goes beyond his hurt pride?
  2. Is Clarissa just as proud as the rest of her family? Does her pride parade need toning down, or is she just a strong individual?
  3. Is Lovelace proud about anything beyond the notches on his bedpost? Where's his sense of family honor?
  4. Are Clarissa and Lovelace too proud to get along, or is one more willing to budge?      

Chew on This

Despite always being there for Clarissa, Anna is proud of her ability to keep out of trouble.

Clarissa is too proud to cave to parental pressure, but she'd adjust her attitude for the right person.