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Burrows looks at His Natural Life as a melodramatic vision that derived from English and French fiction and seeks to describe what makes good melodrama. The audience and their recognition of conventions supplied by the author are very important, but Burrows argues that "when the susurrus of the pathetic fallacy is shut out of mind" there remains echoes of Romanticism and the sublime. Despite the narrative instability caused by Clarke's occasional use of antithetical figures (which challenges readers' conventional views), Rufus Dawes' fate stabilizes his character as a hero of melodrama.