Analysis Of Samuel Richardson 's `` Pamela Or Virtue Rewarded, One Of The Most Overarching Themes

Analysis Of Samuel Richardson 's `` Pamela Or Virtue Rewarded, One Of The Most Overarching Themes

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In Samuel Richardson’s, Pamela or Virtue Rewarded, one of the most overarching themes was the change and development of social classes and how they affected the main character, Pamela, as well as the other characters in her life. In the eighteenth century, the concept of social status and wealth in European culture gave superiority to specific genders and treated the opposing as lesser than. Due to this social normality, a domino effect was created and resulted in the constant battle between what is right for their status and what is right for themselves.
Throughout the book, Samuel Richardson makes implications that men should choose their wives not for their money or social standing, but for their virtue. He then makes another shocking suggestion by implying that the only way in which members of the upper class can learn to be virtuous is by learning from and observing the virtue of the lower class.
Richardson’s writing exemplifies the concept of wealth and holding others to a higher moral standard. This prominent theme throughout the book is best stated in the passage below.
" Spare, madam, I beseech you, my parents. They are honest ; they are good ; it is no crime to be poor. They were once in a very creditable way ; they never were beggars. Mis- fortunes may attend the highest. I can bear the crudest imputations on myself ; but upon such honest, industrious parents, who have passed thro ' the greatest trials, without being beholden to anything but God 's blessing, and their own hard labor, I cannot bear reflection."
" What ! art thou setting up for a family, creature as thou art ? God give me patience ! I suppose my brother 's folly, and his wickedness together, will, in a little while, occasion a search at the Herald 's ...


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...ed to allow him to mold her into something other than her true self. In Mr. B’s mind, he thought her resistance was similar to an older version of playing hard to get and because of this he ultimately fell in love with her. Due to her dedication to her virtue, Pamela reversed the system and changed what people valued. By standing firmly by her own choices Pamela created a happy life for herself whether she knew what she was doing or not.
The distinctions of class were a major influence on the people of the eighteenth century. Traditional beliefs assumed that people born of a higher class deserved better treatment and opportunities than people who were born of a lower class but no matter what it was not guaranteed. Virtue and social class are seen differently by the rich and the poor but staying determined and remembering one’s worth can give them a happy ending.

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