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"Pamela", or "Virtue Rewarded"


Pamela is a collection of letters written by a virtuous girl to her parents, telling about her mistress's son's attempts at seducing her, however she resists his advances and gains as a reward a proposal of marriage, which she accepts, becoming rich and obtaining a good social position, which was the Puritan bourgeois ideal at the time.

The plot is very simple, the novel is built around the interaction between the
characters. The setting varies little and the scenes take place mostly indoors, Pamela is always inside of the house, and manages to get out only after marrying Mr B.

Pamela is a round character, however she is stereotyped and not credible. She is practical, honest and coherent, very balanced. She never commits errors, she never has weaknesses and never yields to her master's advances, that's why she's not credible. Mr B is another round character who reflects male superiority, he tries to seduce Pamela, but her refusals arouses his passion and make him change his behaviour which becomes more mature.
The form is epistolary, the writer places himself as an editor who publishes without commenting series of 32 familiar letters followed by a long journal written by Pamela.
This story is a variant of the Cinderella theme, both stories offer compensations for the monotonous work and limited perspective of ordinary life, but here the fairy good mother and the prince are replaced by morality and the social importance marriage had at those times. The fact that it deals with innermost feelings caused its success, it is the first novel which deals with feelings and emotions of a female character, therefore it was very popular among female readers.
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