This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

'how Does This Damn Love Unman Me!' (Lovelace, Clarissa). How Does The Rake Figure Illuminate The Contradictions Of Masculine Desire In Samuel Richardson's 'clarissa'?

3022 words - 12 pages

Clarissa emphasises how, in Richardson’s time, a woman’s morality was defined by sex, and her virginity was constantly under siege from more experienced and stronger men. Masculine and feminine qualities were put in distinct contrast. The masculine figure was to be virile and powerful with dominant control. ‘Desire’ is an emotion directed towards attaining or possessing an object from which pleasure or satisfaction is expected. Therefore ‘masculine desire’ can be seen as an instinctive, impulsive craving to possess. The ‘Rake figure’ is the symbol and embodiment of masculine desire, having self-indulgent behaviour, unconstricted by moral law. He follows his inclinations to triumph over the female sex, but keeps control over them. However, the impulsions created by lust and appetite can lead to a loss of control, to weakness and vulnerability, contradicting the firm image of ‘masculinity.’ Love, as an emotion, can cause weakness and the ‘unmanning’ of a Rake. However, Rakes are not meant to be capable of this true affection, or of ‘understanding’ or connecting with women’s minds. Masculine desire can be seen as purely physical, and Rakes maintain their control through this physicality. A Rake may have emotions but he must hide them due to pride, developing an inner struggle of anxiety and insecurity. This private inner struggle is represented through Richardson’s use of the epistolary form and his use of language in Clarissa, especially with the Rake Lovelace. The letter form is a unique way of exposing the seemingly realistic thoughts and conflicts of character. Lovelace needs control and manipulates and orchestrates the events that lead to the rape of Clarissa Harlowe. However, we are given insight into Lovelace’s inner conflict, and this shows he has contradictions with his masculinity. The representation of real human emotion challenges the idea of an aloof ‘Rake figure’. A Rake is not supposed to love.Lovelace is sexually aggressive, has power over other characters and uses disguises to manipulate. He has a rakish attitude, and quotes from a poem by Edmund Waller; “Women are born to be controlled” (p.670). He wants absolute power over a woman, pursuing and ‘hunting’ her down in an unbalanced contest. Lovelace says rakes “seldom meet with the stand of virtue in the women whom they attempt” (p.426), which is why Clarissa is such a challenge. He is arrogant, saying to his companion Belford, “Has it not been a constant maxim with us that the greater the merit on the woman’s side, the nobler the victory on the man’s?” (p.559). He is intrigued by Clarissa’s “inflexible heart”, seeing her as “this charming frost piece” (p.145). He sees the “rewarding end” of controlling Clarissa as “a triumph over the whole sex” (p.147). Samia Ishak recognises that, ‘He...

Find Another Essay On 'How does this damn love unman me!' (Lovelace, Clarissa). How does the Rake figure illuminate the contradictions of masculine desire in Samuel Richardson's 'Clarissa'?

In The Rest Of The Novel, How Does Steinbeck Show That Some People On The Ranch Are Considered More Important Than Others? How Does This Reflect T

929 words - 4 pages Steinbeck uses hierarchy in the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ to show that all the characters in the novella hold different statuses. Steinbeck then shows in the novella how this links with the 1930s depression and how in his novella he conformed and also challenged stereotypes. Firstly, in the rest of the novel, Steinbeck shows the hierarchy and importance of certain characters within the ranch by the ranch workers. Steinbeck shows that although

The three central protagonists in Enduring Love could be said to represent science, art and religion. In the light of this statement, how far does this count for the conflict between the characters?

1762 words - 7 pages (Enduring Love by Ian Mc Ewan) Love that endures is a main theme in the novel, and the strongest force in existence which has the capability of bridging those whose outlooks are diametrically opposite, for example, art, science and religion (Clarissa, Parry and Jed). However, this only bridges them, it does not resolve any differences they may have in terms of perspective. I do not think it possible to answer the above question without touching

How does the interaction between strangers change throughout a complete episode of come dine with me?

2375 words - 10 pages Derek may have a different opinion of socialists and not Ben in general. Jessica is the host of the second Dinner party and as it is her dinner party she is seen to be dominating the conversation. During the first dinner party Jessica refused to tell anyone about her job, this perhaps could indicate that she wants to create a mystery about herself or that she thinks quite highly of her occupation; thinking that what she does is the best and highly

How does Solzhenitsyn show Denisovich as a representative figure who

1582 words - 6 pages How does Solzhenitsyn show Denisovich as a representative figure who copes with adversity in the book 'One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich'? The novel, 'One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich' by Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a story about a man who is in a prison for people who have committed political crimes. The story deals with a typical day for Denisovich and how he copes in this harsh and hostile environment. What interested me about the

Romeo and Juliet. How does Shakespeare present the theme of love?

5299 words - 21 pages his sword to battle him. "This by his voice be a Montague, Fetch me my rapier, boy". Instantaneously he is angry about knowing he there and him being an enemy. "What dares the slave, come hither, covered with an antic face to fleer and scorn at our solemnity" What he says next is what shows us that this is not actually hate but love in disguise. "Now by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin

How does Golding make this a powerful and significant point in the novel? (the end of chapter 2)

516 words - 2 pages How does Golding make this a powerful and significant point in the novel?Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel written by William Golding and published in 1954. The end of Chapter Two is a particularly powerful moment in the novel as the characters true characteristics are beginning to be known, as well as showing that a semblance of civility is still a part of the boys' community.Even in the early stages of the novel, Golding manages to

How does Bronte use Language and Structure in Wuthering Heights to present the theme of Violence and what does this show?

1241 words - 5 pages to signify Hareton's change from animalistic to the ideal Victorian gentleman. However, despite this transformation Brontё does not portray Hareton as having separated himself his previously violent nature. In 'smart slap' Brontё's use of double entendre associates Hareton's newfound education with violence, suggesting that violence is an intrinsic aspect of human nature as it is something that remains a personality trait of Hareton's despite

How Does Steinbeck Use Details In This Passage To Present The Bunkhouse And Its Inhabitants?

1030 words - 5 pages Firstly, Steinbeck presents the inhabitants of the bunkhouse to be trapped. The bunkhouse is described as “a long rectangular building” It is seen as a jail-like place where the occupants of the ranch are trapped in; this symbolises that all hope is near to gone. It is also as if the migrant workers are trapped from their dreams and they have no place to go. The small square windows” shows how their lives are simple and that they have no escape

How Does Shakespeare Show Love in Romeo and Juliet?

1027 words - 4 pages How does Shakespeare show love in Romeo and Juliet Love is a powerful human emotion which can manipulate you to do would or could regret in life. In ‘Romeo and Juliet’ , Shakespeare talks about all types of love; aggressive, friendship, unrequited and romantic love. Shakespeare shows different emotions to each type of love. By doing this it makes each type of love unique and different and also exciting as every love differs. In the

How does Shakespeare portray love in "A Midsummer Nights Dream"

1144 words - 5 pages Hermia nor Lysander have any memory of what happened due to magic yet again. On the other hand the love between Demetrius & Helena is forever changing up until the end of the play, at the start Helena's love for Demetrius is doting and obsessive but Demetrius returns none of this love. This is well shown when they are in the forest and Helena says "the more thy object me the more I dote on you" she continues to make comments like this even

How Does Shakespeare Portray Love in Romeo and Juliet?

1665 words - 7 pages is often seen sighing showing that he is either depressed or in love. Romeo is both. He says he is "out of her favour where I am in love". He is "in love" with Rosaline but she has sworn herself to a life of chastity and does not return Romeo's love. Shakespeare mocks Romeo's infatuation with the language he uses to show Romeo's love. To Romeo love is a "choking gall", a poison. Love is the end of Romeo's life, this is not the language of love

Similar Essays

How Does Ovid Describe The Experience Of Being In Love In The Poems You Have Read?

660 words - 3 pages Each of Ovid’s Amores presents a slightly different view of love. Many of his poems have links between them, for example 3.4 and 2.19 (which both involve a custos and puella), but they also differ hugely (3.4 and 2.19 present almost opposing arguments). This leads to the conclusion that perhaps Ovid is highlighting how love changes according to the situation. In 3.2, we see Ovid using his rhetorical skill to woo a lady at the races. This poem

How Does Rossetti Convey The Joy Of Being In Love In ‘A Birthday’?

640 words - 3 pages The first stanza focuses on images from the natural world, which suggests that the speaker is happy while she explains how every little thing seems beautiful when she is in love. It has a strict iambic tetrameter which, combined with the rhyme scheme, alliterations and repetitions, creates a song-like rhythm and highlights the key words ‘love’ and ‘heart’. In this stanza, the repetition of the first person possessive determiner and object

What Is The Ftaa And How Does It Affect Me?

968 words - 4 pages In order to strengthen the economy of America, the FTAA, the Free Trade Areas of the Americas was created. 34 nations are working together to improve the trade laws and regulations. Joining the United States with this goal was: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica

How Does Oscar Wilde Explore Self Love In "The Picture Of Dorian Gray"

686 words - 3 pages How does Oscar Wilde explore self-love in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'?Oscar Wilde explores many different types of love within his novel. The most notable form shown is self-love; this is the most apparent form due to the blatant narcissism and conceit shown by the main character Dorian and others within the book. Dorian's aesthetic beauty is expressed very early on in the book "clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a