Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Doctor D. Blewett


For Samuel Richardson, language is the means by which he tells the story of Clarissa but, more importantly, it is his symbol within the novel of the deceptions of the world. It is language that leads the heroine away from herself and from everything that she holds dear; it is language that frustrates her and Lovelace's attempts to reach an understanding; and it is language, finally, that must be abandoned by Clarissa as she prepares herself for death. Through a close study of the language of Clarissa, this paper attempts to define the heroine's relationship to the words she and the other characters use and to trace Richardsen's involvement with this theme. It is argued that Richardson emphasized Clarissa's attitude towards language through the use of imagery, imagery which is especially noticeable and important towards the end of the novel when the heroine rejects ordinary words in favour of sacred language.

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