2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Gender and Power Relationships in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa
Blake B. Niemann
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa depicts the hardships that a young woman, Clarissa, has to undergo because her personal choices defy gender conventions of the 18th century. Clarissa wants to prove that she is mature and responsible enough to be an individual and make her own decisions. Yet, this seems to be her downfall because her decisions seem to ruin her life. Clarissa initially defies patriarchal limitations by refusing her parents’ wishes of an arranged marriage, and runs away with another man, Robert Lovelace, who then mistreats and rapes her. Wishing to return home, Clarissa is rejected by her family, ultimately trapping her within the male-dominated social framework of 18th-century Britain. This paper will demonstrate how Clarissa, as a victim of patriarchal power relationships, and through a Marxist feminist lens, should be seen as a subaltern.

Keywords: Richardson, Clarissa, power, gender

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 23-4
Location: OP 2117
Time: 10:30 am

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