Sunday, October 2, 2011
Required Post: Shamela, Probable or Problematic?
We've talked a lot in class about how some of Richardson's contemporaries read between the lines of Pamela and came to the conclusion that she was, in fact, purposefully seducing Master B through her letters. Some of us agree with those individuals, siting her continued journal-keeping and letter-writing, despite her knowledge that B is reading all of her correspondence, as evidence. Still, others lend Pamela a little more grace, and attribute her seeming coyness to innocence and girlish curiosity. Fielding, obviously, falls into the first category: Shamela leaves little room to doubt his opinion of Pamela's motivations. What do you make of his extreme interpretation of Richardson's supposedly morally upright novel? Is there enough textual evidence in Pamela to support Fielding's reading, or is he reaching outside of the original novel? If he is reaching, what does that say about his motivation for writing Shamela; does it change the impact of his criticism?