Show Less
Restricted access

Anger, Guilt, and the Psychology of the Self in «Clarissa»

Series:

Victor J. Lams

Samuel Richardson's highly acclaimed Clarissa, commonly read as a courtship novel, is in fact a story about the transaction between Robert Lovelace, a pathological narcissist, and Clarissa Harlowe, his victim, whom he idealizes, yet is compelled to destroy. Anger, Guilt, and the Psychology of the Self in 'Clarissa' shows the narcissistic self-structure that explains Lovelace's anger and need for revenge. It shows, too, the process by which, after being raped, Clarissa reconstructs her self through penitential mourning and deepens her Christian understanding by abandoning her de facto Pelagianism when her own experience of evil provides empirical evidence for Original Sin.