Evelina: Madame Duval


Throughout the novel Evelina, Fanny Burney pushes our belief of a woman's role in "the novel". By using two depraved characters who, we feel, need to be punished for crimes they commit against our heroine, we are asked to question our moral judgement. Through Sir Clement Willoughby, we discover that we easily despise any man who attempts to force himself on our heroine. Any type of ill treatment our heroine receives by the hand of this brutal suitor is to be abominated. However, we realize through the barbaric treatment we see of Madame Duval, that we are compelled to laugh aloud only because of her relationship to Evelina. Fanny Burney knows we desire Madame Duval to be punished, but by ...

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Our keen sense of depravity is quickly rewarded when we are shown the way in which Sir Clement treats our precious heroine. He is more than an insolent fool who embarrasses Evelina; he also physically violates her throughout the novel and we are horrified.
Evelina and Sir Clement Willoughby first meet at an assembly in London. He asks Evelina to dance with him and because she wants to be available for our hero, she lies and tells him she is already engaged. This arouses his curiosity and he begs to know with whom she is engaged. Our heroine refuses to tell him and he becomes rather forward in his line of questioning. Evelina tells him that he has "tormented me to death; you have forced me from my friends, and intruded yourself upon me, against my will, for a partner." (44). We become completely annoyed at Sir Clement's behavior toward Evelina. However, he does not stop at insults and insinuations; once he has entirely mortified Evelina by revealing her deceit, he physically ...

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toward Evelina. After the carriage incident, Sir Clement steals a moment with Evelina. During this time, he apologizes for his previous actions and again attempts to woo her with eloquent speeches of admiration. However, he once more makes the mistake of freely grabbing our heroine's hand and pressing it to his lips. Evelina retracts her hand without difficulty and tries to leave. She writes that upon her attempt, "he held me"(156) and she had to force herself away from him (156). We again are disgusted at the violent treatment our heroine receives from Sir Clement.
The last scene, in which Sir Clement mistreats Evelina, our hero comes to the rescue. Sir Clement is again ...

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Added: 2/1/2007 08:13:08 PM
Category: Book Reports
Words: 2136
Pages: 8

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