Study Guide

Clarissa Religion

By Samuel Richardson

Religion

It's not that she's all holier-than-thou, but—okay, she's a little holier-than-thou. Clarissa definitely takes puts the "pie" in pious. Especially when she's cut off from her family and friends, Clarissa turns to the big man for some consolation. It doesn't hurt that Lovelace stays the heck away from church (we think there's a good chance he's a vampire).

Clarissa has always been into religion. But by the end of <em>Clarissa</em>, she hits the Bible big-time. She can't go a single second without quoting Proverbs or acting all angelic-like, and we can't blame her—she's got a one-way express ticket to heaven. And she sets a good example along the way: Clarissa's devotion to religion inspires Belford, Anna, and a host of others to embrace a holy lifestyle. It's just too bad that Lovelace can't get on board.

Questions About Religion

  1. Why is Clarissa so intent on going to church every week? Does she say anything about religion's importance in her life?
  2. Does Clarissa really get more religious after her illness, or is she just trying to get on the big man's good side before dying?
  3. Does Lovelace eventually turn to religion, or does he shun it until the end?
  4. What's with the preoccupation with angels and devils? Are we supposed to take this literally, or is it all a big metaphor?

Chew on This

Clarissa's religion is genuine, but it's also a way for her to explore an identity other than wife or mother.

People consider Clarissa to be angel on earth because they can't handle the idea of a ruined woman living her life.