Clarissa’s Death and the Separation of Body and Soul

In class we have constantly rehashed this idea of Clarissa being a representative of the “perfect women” which has made some of the areas in the novel much more of an indictment against the construction of the society as a whole and its treating of women. However, I think that the way Clarissa died is important to these ideas because I see it as a deconstruction of her perfection. Clearly as the pious christian she is she was supposed to have forgiven those who acted against her. And while she did “forgive them” for their transgressions it was not made clear until after her death. I think her refusal to see the individuals who had wronged her makes it clear that she has not forgiven them. Of course, of the things done to her I can not blame her at all for her decisions, I am just going along with that mode of thinking. I found an interesting separation of the body and soul through her death. Her body is literally failing, forcefully preventing food, and writing to make sure she does not have to deal with anyone. Her soul, as evidenced by some of her actions, goes back to this “perfect women” construction that we gave her in class. However, I still think its important to note that everything that came out of her will would not have happened before her death. Her body in the story took on a literal embodiment of all the pain and anguish she had been inflicted with in the story.  


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