Essay On Evelina

1523 Words7 Pages
The enthusiasm in Evelina’s early letters to Mr. Villars is ironic considering many of the experiences she has both in London and Bristol are difficult and unpleasant. Often in these situations, she’s the victim to social protocols. Throughout Evelina, the titular character is a victim of a combination of physical, social, and mental constraint. During her time in London, Evelina is the victim of physical restraint. Innocent places like a garden, an opera house, or a carriage turn into a prison that can hold Evelina captive. Her walk with Miss Branghtons down the alley at Vauxhall ends with her encountering a group of men who grab her and assume she’s a prostitute. Her “rescuer” Sir Clements, interprets her situation (walking in a dimly lit place unaccompanied) in a negative light. Often Evelina is too frightened to intimidate or condemn her attackers. The carriage incident shows the difference in power between Sir Clement and Evelina. Sir…show more content…
Lord Orville is “the most delicate of men” (pg. 305), as he tries to diminish discomfort in the people around him. When Evelina is separated from her companions after the opera, Sir Clement offers to take her in his coach while Lord Orville simply offers his coach and servants and makes it clear he will go home in a chair. Evelina responds with “How grateful did I feel for a proposal so considerate, and made with so much delicacy” (pg. 97). His delicacy shows up once again when he asks about the two women he saw with Evelina at Marybone without saying the women were prostitutes or suspecting her virtue. Evelina admires Lord Orville’s actions “Generous, noble Lord Orville! How disinterested his conduct! How delicate his whole behavior! Willing to advise, yet afraid to wound me” (pg. 242). This contrasts the false delicacies seen in other characters such as Lovel, who uses the societal rules and politeness in an underhanded
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