Saturday, March 8, 2008


As per our discussion from Tuesday, I went ahead and looked up the various meanings and suggestions of the word "inconveniency" in the OED. The word itself is a rare form of our normal understanding of inconvenience and the definitions I have derived from that entry. The two most interesting implications relating to Lovelace's discussion of the "inconveniencies of knowing too much" (639), are that of discomfort and moral compromise. The sexual suggestion remains in the notion that an "inconveniency" can be something desired that meanwhile maintains its status of an ethically questionable action. Therefore, Lovelace's argument appears to suggest that virtue can only protect itself from that which it knows is sinful.

2. Moral or ethical unsuitableness; unbecoming or unseemly behaviour; impropriety; with pl., an unseemly act, an impropriety, an offence. Obs.

4. b. with pl. An inconvenient circumstance; something that interferes with ease or comfort, or causes trouble; a disadvantage, a discomfort.

In this case, it is only the interference of virtue that causes Lovelace trouble in his seduction of Clarissa considering her knowledge of virtue would make her complicit in any consensual act. To eliminate her knowledge would eliminate the interference.

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