Pamela: Saint Or A Schemer?

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Is Pamela in reality a saint or a schemer?

Is Pamela in reality a saint or a schemer?


Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded appeared in two volumes in November 1740 and soon turned into what we nowadays call a "best-seller," the first example of that phenomenon in the history of English fiction. The novel was praised for its psychological veracity and its moral influence on the readers.

Some critics destined Pamela as a symbol of the undignified and the low, seeing in the story of a servant girl "climbing the ladder" of social class, a pernicious 'levelling' tendency. Pamela has had significant impact on the novel as a literary genre, as an experiment in epistolary form, as a study of ethics, human (and particularly women's) psychology, and as a case of early negotiation between literature as education and literature as entertainment (Samuel, 2001, 129).

Samuel Richardson, the author of the novel, spends a lot of breath at the beginning of the novel trying to convince the readers that Pamela is based on a true story.

Whereas Pamela's comparison of herself to the ancient Israelites of Psalm 137 emphasizes her active role in gaining freedom from bondage and in conquering her captors through charity and good example, the Old Testament figure of Ruth serves as a more fitting biblical parallel to Pamela's rise from humble station to social preeminence as the result of her spiritual exaltation. Pamela's father establishes the Ruth comparison during the preparations for her imminent marriage to Mr. B.: "I am sure [...] the book of Ruth would afford a fine subject for the honour done my dear child." But the parallel is given a significant new dimension when Mr. B. responds: "[...]I know that story, and [...] my good girl will confer at least as much honour as she will receive" (Ardolino, 2008, 147).

Thesis Statement

Although Richardson 'officially' portrays Pamela as a paragon of female virtue, it has been suggested that the novel contains clues towards a more unflattering construction of its central character.

Discussion and Analysis

Pamela is concerning the rights of women. Furthermore not just middle to upper class women, although the lower class women that Pamela corresponds to. Even though Pamela is sole in her class structure she is more than the average poor working girl, she tranquil portrays a strong individual that is all about her honesty as well as virtue the only things that she can grasp onto. These traits are the just thing that Mr. B cannot take away from her attempt as he might. She for eternity threatened with the outlook of rape, which hangs over her.

Pamela is indomitable to support her virtue and love of her parents' respect by not giving in to the enticement of Mr. B. The novel follows Pamela all the way through her trials and troubles. Pamela as a representation of the humiliating and the low seeing in the story of a servant girl "climbing the ladder" of social class a critical 'levelling' of ...