Your answers identified a lot of different ways of understanding these rules!
These rules show a halt in Pamela asserting her worth, but her comments...show that she has grown in her self-worth (Rule 20 and 22)
Beng married in this time came with so many intricacies and implications: maybe it was in fact the mature thing to be complacent, however twisted that may be.
Her action of writing her husband's lecture down not only shows her sincere effort to understand and serve her husband...but also helps her to identify what she disagrees with or finds challenging to comprehend.
All of the rules...have to do with her relationships to others....what this book shows as "moral" or "growth" isn't her personal growth, but her societal growth in her position as a wife and mother.
They halt her growth...[rules 2 and 37]...She simply accepts him as the better person worthy of more consideration.It's worth noting that Pamela does not accept these rules uncritically! She includes her commentary as she evaluates them carefully. Among the things she's looking for as she reads: evidence that Squire B is holding himself to a similar standard of thoughtfulness and respect (and she finds it). Also note the rules on how they will raise a child. Squire B is aware of his faults and excesses and does NOT want to raise a Squire B, Junior, who will misbehave in the same way (and he believes that Pamela's habits of self-discipline and virtue will help to mold the child in a different image than his own.
So what about Sally Godfrey? What is she doing in this story? Does Pamela's reaction to Squire B's sordid past confirm the interpretation of those who view Pamela as a willing participant in her own oppression? Or does it convey the kind of independence and mutuality that I argue can be found in the "Rules"?
Deadline: Start of class Tuesday (9/27); posts before Saturday midnight count towards Week 5; after that, they're Week 6.