Of all the books I’ve read, it is probably the one that fills me with the most feminist rage.
Also, why is there so much literary debate about whether or not we ought to like Fanny Price, but from what I can see, very little about whether or not we ought to like Pamela? Richardson is obviously endorsing her behaviour, but to me it feels like the ravings of a sad victim of Stockholm syndrome.
I understand that Pamela is meant to be a somewhat flawed character, since she’s only 15 and in a highly stressful situation, and I understand that Stockholm Syndrome is a very real condition. However, the fact remains that the novel was written “in order to cultivate virtue and religion in both the sexes”. This would imply that the behaviour of Pamela (and, to some extent, Mr. B) is to be admired and emulated. Particularly in the case of Mr. B, although he is stated to have reformed, I didn’t find this at all credible. Basically, he strikes me as a colossal dick. In a bad way.
The other thing about Pamela that annoyed me was her almost pious attitude, furthermore, Richardson seemed to be saying that whatever is good in your life is thanks to the goodness of God, but anything that’s going badly is your own damn fault.
You can thank Samuel Richardson for this.
"The principle persons are divided into men, women, and Italians."
— My English lecturer