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VIRTUE AND THE REALISTIC COLOURINGOF
Pamela or Virtue Rewarded is an epistolary
novel written by Samuel Richardson.
First published in 1740.
A bestseller of its time.
Tells about the story of a 15 year old
maidservant named Pamela.
Richardson first began writing Pamela as a
conduct book. Then later he decided to
write in a different genre.
Most novels of mid 18’s and 19’s, followed
Richardson's ability to teach as well as
PAMELA AS AN EPISTOLARY NOVEL
Novels written as series of letters.
Extremely popular during the 18th century, mainly
because of Richardson's Pamela .
Novelists of the time argued that the letters allow the
reader greater access to a character’s thoughts.
Richardson claimed that he was writing ‘to the
moment”:that is, Pamela's thoughts were recorded nearly
simultaneously with his action.
The novel was an experiment, but it allowed Richardson
to create a complex heroine.
In the novel, Pamela writes two kinds of letters.
At the beginning, when she stay at Mr. B’s house after
the death of his mother. She tells her parents about her
various dilemmas and ask for their advise.
After that Mr. B abducts her and imprisoned her in his
The second parts of letters are written from there.
Pamela doesn’t know that whether her parents received
The writings are also considered a diary.
PLOT OF PAMELA
The fifteen year old Pamela Andrews works as a servant in
wealthy household under Mrs. B. Mrs. B is very impressed by
Pamela's modesty, her natural grace and her keen perception. So
that Mrs. B tries to raise her mannerly. The novel starts after Mrs.
B’s death, this is learned by the reader in the first letter. Mrs.B has
entrusted Pamela in her son’s, Mr.B, care, but instead of taking
care of Pamela, he tries to seduce her. Mr. B tries to take advantage
o her dependence, unscrupulously. Pamela's parents give her
advise to leave the household and to return to her parents’ house.
when Pamela tries to leave, Mr.B kidnaps her and locks her up in
one of his estates, which is monitored by Mrs. jewkes and
monsieur colbrand. Mr.B tries to seduce her with all his power,
but Pamela always finds ways f escaping his attempts of seduction.
Often Pamela fakes to faint in order to escape Mr. B.
Pamela was not allowed to write letters to her parents, so
she starts writing a diary that mirrors her experiences with
Mr.B. when, at some point Mr. B discovers Pamela's diary and
he is suddenly overwhelmed of Pamela's virtue and
truthfulness. He feels a high level of remorse and gives her a
chance to escape from his capture and develops true love for
Pamela. He romances her until she admits herself to love Mr.
.B as well ,and she agrees to marry him. In the end Pamela's
virtue is rewarded.
Richardson put an end to the romance of fancy and shifted
Pamela being the first notable novel of sentimental
analysis, heralded the advent of everyday manners and
common people to artistic acceptance.
Richardson stirred the readers emotions, and gave definite
satisfaction to their latent thirst for sentiment.
He presented the readers with living, actual, flesh and
heroes and heroines; and responded to their liking for reality
and substance in fiction; re-imparted a moral lesson.
Thus the reader can found himself one with the rising
reaction against the sceptical levity of the preceding age.
Richardson's novels are filled with a spirit of bourgeois
criticism of the privileges and the corruption of the
great, and, at the same time, they are flavoured with the
The impatient self-assertion of the middle class, and its
quiet setting down into conservative grooves of feeling;
Pamela is an illustration of the Christian equality of
souls, quite in keeping with the wide spread modern
tendency to exact a sentimental, theoretical democracy.
On the other hand ,an involuntary subservience to the
intrinsic dignity of rank and richness.
Religion and moral thoughts of the age was well
depicted in the novel.
CHARACTER OF PAMELA
The courage of Pamela to reject her masters attempts of
seduction and her eventual success strengthened the role of
Pamela’s character is a devote of god, which often makes
her seem vain, manipulative, selfish and hypocritical to
others but it is her virtuous behavior that ultimately
In the first edition Pamela's diction is that of a lower-class
maid, but in later editions Richardson made her more
linguistically middle-class by removing the lower-class
idioms from her speech.
In this way, Richardson made her marriage to Mr. B less
scandalous as she appeared to be more his equal in
VIRTUE AND MORALITY
Richardson wanted to teach as well as to entertain with his
His main target group was the young generation of both
sexes and had the intention to illuminate certain behavioral
By raising the topics such as religion, virtue, morality, he
expected the young readership to keep those values alive.
In the novel he creates the character of a virtuous young
women who is blessed with intelligence, natural beauty and
Pamela impresses her master with honesty and a behavior
which was not associate with her low social status in the
Morality and religion play an important role in the novel.
This is shown by the way Pamela continually refuses to
be the mistress of her master, Mr. B. He, again and
again, attempts to seduce her.
The majority of the readers were young women who were
fascinated and inspired by Richardson's way of showing
that morality, religion and virtue lead to a good life.
The success of Pamela over aristocratic man puts gender
and social roles into question.
The story of Pamela shows and wants to highlights that
barriers can be broken.
The novel put the class, social rules and gender into
question by asserting that domestic order can be
determined not only by socio-economic status but also by
moral qualities of mind.
THE SUBTITLE : VIRTUE REWARDED
Virtue rewarded is a typical substantial eighteenth century sub-title .
In the novel the virtue is tied to reward.
The novel is history of a serving maid who, after the death of her
mistress, withstands the blandishments and coercions of the rakish
young aristocratic heir and, by steadfastly preserving her virginity,
foils his seduction schemes by gaining him in marriage ,to live
happily and somewhat self-righteously ever after.
Richardson gave much importance to the value of social status and
in doing so he placed a significant meaning to the sub-title ‘virtue
Pamela preserved her chastity and thus she was rewarded .
MORAL INTEGRITY OF PAMELA
Novel depicts the individual struggling of Pamela to balance
the demands on her integrity.
she must either compromise her own sense of right or
offend her master, who deserves her obedience.
The highly conscientious servant and devout Christian must
work scrupulously to defy her master’s will only to the
degree that it is necessary to prevent her virtue; to do any
less would be irreligious, while to do any more would be
The successful balance of these conflicting claims
represents the greatest expression of Pamela's personal