Please leave links to your February Clarissa posts on JoAnn's blog.
The plot thickens
Clarissa is further harangued by her family to marry. A stay with her good friend Anna has been shortened as Clarissa is called home. I'm not sure exactly why the family is so intent on Clarissa being married, but it appears that this is driven by her two older (and single!) siblings. The elder family members (father, mother, aunts, uncles) allow this harangue and even play into it. I assume, at this point, that this push to marry Clarissa is a combination of "avarice and envy," as Anna so succinctly points out in her letter to Clarissa. Clarissa has been isolated from her friends, but she has found a way to continue both writing and receiving letters on the sly with her good friend Anna.
The characters develop
Clarissa definitely has backbone and a sense of independence, though her kind heart and generosity put her at a disadvantage in dealings with those of selfish and wrong intent. Anna puts it well:
"Depend upon it, whether you know it or not, you are a little in for't. Your native generosity and greatness of mind endanger you."
I fear that the family perception that Clarissa is meek (she is not meek but merely non-confrontational) will drive her to unnecessary and desperate action.
Anna is spunky and I like her. She recognizes the difference between herself and Clarissa:
"... I am fitter for this world than you, you for the next than me."
She is a good friend to Clarissa and is brutally honest in her desire to be helpful.
I had such a vivid picture in my mind of the scene with the entire Harlowe family against Clarissa. The smug, triumphant looks of some and the furtive, cowardly glances of others. Clarissa is left pleading on her knees at the feet of her father as he turns his back and walks away. Cruel scene.
I am curious to hear what the menfolk have to say for themselves. At this point I'm not very happy with any of them. Clarissa's brother is full of himself, her father is being driven by her brother's agenda, her uncles are toeing the line, and none of the so called suitors are worthy of Clarissa.