Samuel Richardson’s Views of Women in Pamela

Wei PENG, Changbao LI


Pamela is the first epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, a masterpiece of sentimentalist literature. This paper mainly attempts to analyze Samuel Richardson’s views of women based on the image of Pamela. The paper begins with introducing the life experience and literary career of Samuel Richardson, and the situation in which Richardson created Pamela. And then, it discusses traditional virtues, such as chastity, diligence and modesty embodied in Pamela. These virtues are the base of rewards of women in society. Then the present author focuses on self-pursuit of Pamela as a modern woman who does not depend on men and make livings on their own, and comes to the conclusion that, on the one hand, Richardson praises traditional virtues of women; on the other hand, he expects women to get independence from men, which is contradictory part of Richardson’ views of women.


Pamela; virtues; self-pursuit; views of women

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