Poem Analysis: Clarence Hervey

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Love causes people to do strange things. People either love the idea of love, or desire to run as far away from it as possible. Clarence Hervey is a character that has good intentions to be liked by others and to find this love; however, he is arrogant and easily swayed, causing him to lack moral values and turn away from his true self. This is evident through Edgeworth’s use of contrasting diction, capricious syntax and deceptive imagery. Edgeworth often uses contrasting diction in this excerpt as to reflect the contrast that Hervey feels within himself. For example, she uses the words “admiration” and “dread” near each other to describe Belinda, his love interest, showing how his thoughts toward the girl are confused and that there are fighting emotions within himself. This is apparent again in lines 51-53, in which it is noted that Hervey is “charmed” by Belinda, yet he is “inclined to despise her”. The difference in diction creates a muddled tone which is reciprocated in the knowledge of the reader, as well as in Hervey’s own being. While Hervey feels himself wanting to love Belinda, he does not want…show more content…
Edgeworth states that Hervey “was distinguished at Oxford”, but further shows that he has a habit of pretending “to disdain every species of knowledge”. Edgeworth also goes as far to compare Hervey to a chameleon, pointing out his charlatan tendencies. All of these descriptions reflect how Hervey simply wants to fit in. He would rather present himself falsely and be something he is not in order to fit in, than to be true to who he really is. Hervey’s focus is on how others perceive him. This then stands in his way of finding love. His struggle to follow his desires causes him to run from them. He fears falling into the hands of the “catch-match-maker” and being ridiculed by his company of friends, instead, he abandons the idea of love for Belinda, considering it to be
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