Symbols In Clarissa Symbolism

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Identification, Symbolism, Integration: An Analysis of the Role of Objects in Clarissa In Clarissa (1748), Samuel Richardson deliberately and carefully chooses which objects to present in the story. In general, the frequently presented objects are directly or implicitly relating to social hierarchies, cultural background, and gender roles embedded in the story; indicating characters’ preferences, tastes, dispositions, as well as part of their self-identities. Objects in the novel create either connections or obstacles among different characters. Often times, objects serve as symbolic icons that reveal deeper critiques that go beyond the surface level. Among all the objects, clothes, doors, keys, and the coffin stand out to be the most symbolic ones that play crucial roles in the storyline. Clothes, doors, and the coffin each represent a sort of “cover” that can prevent Clarissa from being fully observed or violated by the others. Keys, on the other hand, have the ability to enable outsiders, such as Mr. Lovelace, to invade into Clarissa’s privacy and approach her body. All objects take different roles but work together to enhance readers’ understanding of the living conditions and the inner world of the characters. Overall, Richardson demonstrates characters’ self-identity through presenting their conscious attitude in treating their dress code, stresses the power struggles between opposite sexes in relating to the use of doors and keys, and illustrates how the coffin
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