The Development of Mr.B’s Character in Pamela Essay Example

  • Category:
    Literature
  • Document type:
    Article
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    5
  • Words:
    3113

Mr. B’s development in Pamela

The novel Pamela was published in the year 1740 it’s a virtue rewarded novel that was written by Samuel Richardson. The story discloses a variety of letters that gives the reader access to the thoughts of the character. The novel is therefore put in the epistolary novel category. The novel is unique because unlike the other epistolary novels Richardson narrates the story to the people through the thoughts and actions of the main character and the protagonist, Pamela. Pamela or Virtue rewarded is about an extremely charming and acquitted 15 year old girl who works as a maid servant in Lady B’s house. Mr. B who is a principled man develops feelings of infatuation for Pamela; he is moved by her beauty, innocence and intelligence. After lady B passes away Pamela keeps on working at her house and this is when Mr. B took advantage and made advances to her.

According to Margaret (1995), His love for Pamela grows so much that he kidnaps her and locks her up in his estates; he had the motive of seducing her to fall for him. She keeps up her morality and remains highly virtuous and she constantly rejects his affection towards her. After a short time she starts developing feelings for him and she hides her feeling in almost the whole story. She writes lots of letters to her parents telling the about Summer House and Lincolnshire Estate. In the letters she tells her parents that she will protect her chastity from Mr. B, when he realizes this he prevents the letters from reaching her parents. She writes the letters in a way that they seem like journals of her life on daily basis. The subtitle of the book Virtuous Rewarded comes from the time when Mr. B proposes to her a marriage that is inequitable. Her virtuous nature is being rewarded at this point in time, after she accepts the proposal she has to learn to associate herself with the high class. She has to climb the social ladder; she has to do some modification on herself in order to fit in the society. From here the rest of the plot revolves around the development of their relationship.

Mr. B is a 25-26 years of age and has a lot of property in Bedfordshire, London, Lincolnshire and Kent. He is Pamela’s pursuer, eventual husband and employer. Richardson has changed Mr. B’s name to protect the pretense of none—fiction, but most of the scholars had Brandon in mind. He pursues Pamela to an extent of imprisoning her in the estates. His decency prevents him from assaulting her in any way, because of this influence we see that he changes in the middle of the novel.

Mr. B has helped a great deal in the development of the themes in the novel. The major theme in the novel is the Nature of virtue, whereby virtue means the actual physical situation of keeping virginity till marriage. In the novel, there is a detractor of the virtue. For the theme of the nature of virtue to fully develop Pamela has to fight for her chastity till the end. She refuses every form of seduction and refuses to give in to B’s advances. This makes the plot to advance to the second part with turns her pain into happiness. In the second half of the novel gets a lot of praises with positive abilities such as benevolence and generosity. These are the qualities that made him propose to her. I f he had broken her virginity before the plot could not have developed this far. He discovers her genuine interest towards him by reading the journals that she wrote. He feels happy when he realizes that she rejoiced a lot over his narrow escape when he drowned. The reward for all her struggle is a happy marriage even though she defended her virginity so much. The character contributed a lot in the development of this theme, one because he did not want to force her to sleep with him her he wanted her to make up her mind and give herself to him freely.

The second theme that he has helped to develop is the theme of class. Pamela’s position as a maid servant puts her into a different class with the rest of the workers. She does not really consider herself above the workers but she is different because she has refined her class by the little education that she has received which makes her not viable to work with the others. She gets more respect because her father once ran a school. Mr. B because of his higher class level constantly looks down upon Pamela. He knows he has power over her and even goes ahead and imprisons her. It is because of this that finally starts writing letters to her parents. The letters that she wrote contributed a great deal in the development of the plot to an extent that it leads to the development of a love story that was unexpected. It was the difference in class that led to the great development of the plot. The setting has also contributed to the development of the plot. Mr. B’s mother dies he is left alone in the house with the maid servant who is willing to continue working for him. It is at this moment that he takes the opportunity to make advances to her, he is very much obsessed with her to an extent that he kidnaps her and later on imprisons her. If the mother could not have died, and if Pamela stopped working immediately after the lady died the plot could not have develop into such an interesting story.

There is a great language struggle between Mr. B and Pamela. He attempts to make Pamela frustrated because he controlled her language. When she writes her first letters to her parents Mr. B’s comes in and tells her that she should be careful when telling others about herself. She finally writes the letters and gain courage once again. Mr. B’s modesty is not determined by his wealth but by his words and deed which are supposed to make him a monarch. His words are very much empty and hypocritical. He tells her to believe him his sincere intentions and fame because he thought that his fame guaranteed his status. This is what makes him a total contrast to Pamela, she tells the truth in every situation no matter how hard it may be.

In the novel we see that Mr. B’s life is affected a great deal by women. At the beginning of the story his mother dies, we can presume that he was very responsible before his mother’s death but afterwards his behaviors change to those of an irresponsible youth rather than the noble man from the rich family. When Lady Denver discovers that he is in a relationship with Pamela she plays a big role in calming down the disturbances of his brother than his parents had done before (Richardson 480). He asks Pamela if she will allow him love the little innocent, this is because now he is responsible of making his own decisions, however how questionable they tend to be. He come up with a false marriage plan in order to make Pamela sleep with him. His behavior is a bit questionable, and this brings him to a change. He is very much unwilling to take Pamela’s virtuousness against her will but again he is ready to give her money and even a false wedding for her to give herself to him freely. He finally offers himself freely to her because his is subjected to his sister.

The most significant change happens when he goes ahead and asks questions that are rhetorical about the station in order to make statements and affirm rules because of his position. Throughout the book we see that Pamela has been obedient, strong willed and independence to her master, whenever she agrees with what she is being told she is ready to do it without any problems. She changes the opinion that Lady Daver has about her and at the same time does not go against the wishes of her husband. He thinks of making his wedding honorable but at the same time he does not allow his wife to contradict him. He gives her a set of rules that she should abide by, but again it is not the writer’s intention to present this character as it is. He forces her to submit to his will by presenting the rules. Mr. B for all of his gust and audacity is a complete fraud at the compassion of the lady from the low class. He stood a great risk just by marrying her with both family and society. Pamela still has the upper hand in his life because he loves her and wants to be with her no matter what. The rules that he gives are peculiar to him too and Pamela does not agree with most of the rules.

Mr. B changes his mind after he read Pamela’s letters, diaries and journals and realizes that she is truly miserable. After that he send her a letter asking her for forgiveness and telling her that for all those days he wished her well and he never had bad intentions. He realizes that the lady loves him even after all the assaults, attempted rape and kidnapping. The letter to her parents read:

“My dear parents forgive me! But I found, before, to my grief, that my heart was too partial in his favor; but now with so much openness, affection and honor too (which was all I had doubted), I am quite overcome.  This was happiness; however, I had no reason to expect. But I must own to you that I shall never be able think of anybody in the world but him.”

After this scene Daver come and he wishes that he doesn’t marry the low life girl, but she finds out that they are legally married. She tries to tell Pamela that their wedding was not true but then she does not succeed. Pamela meets b’s illegitimate daughter and welcomes her to live with them and this leads to a happy marriage.

According to Richardson (2001), When Mr. B reads Pamela letters written by Pamela and her goodness in her letters persuades him and it inspires his reformation. The narratives brings us to where he changes his heart and has a desire to get into a relationship and love that is different from the one that he is used to. This is where the second volume begins with a new chapter in Pamela’s life. She recognizes the change and moral reformation in Mr. B’s life she realizes that it’s all because of her writings. The bone of contention between them finally brings two minds and hearts together. Mr. B is interested so much in Pamela’s writing at first he prevented her letters from reaching her parents because he thought that Pamela gossiped so much to his parents about him and his family. Surprisingly his motive changed gradually and developed into a more suggestive and dictatorial ambition to get more knowledge about Pamela in order for him to get all information in her mind and body. His desire for mental and physical knowledge if very much fitting because it led to the development of the two major themes love and intimacy.

The trial seen for Pamela is at the end positive, when she hands over the evidence during her trial it leads to the scene where Mr. B stops being the predator and becomes her impeccably concerned reader. This is now the fourth and the most significant scene to take place in the garden by the pond. The scene was preceded by two more scenes like the angling scene, Pamela’s near suicide and her reconciliation with Mr. B. When he reads her letter about when she was struggling with her despair and her consequent reassertion of her faith, he shows her a lot of tenderness that gives her reason to have faith in man again. He becomes so merciful to her hooked nag, he grants her freedom when she continues to nag about it. The scene leads to great transformation of Mr. B his great desire to get knowledge about Pamela leads him to apply the same acquaintance in nurturing sympathy and love for her.

In the long run Mr. B passes his generosity test while on the other hand Pamela fails her test on trust and faith in man. She was very much in fear of the marriage with Mr. B and she tells him that she wants to go home to her parents again. Mr. B gets very angry because of this request but he grants it anyway because of his change in heart, Pamela is surprised. She leaves the house after getting the freedom that she wanted for a very long time and after she left she just realizes that she no longer needs it. “I was loth to leave the House. Can you believe it? —What could be the Matter with me, I wonder!”

After she leaves she start struggling with her guilt of leaving, many a times she has wondered with Mr. B’s bad behavior to her she wonders why she cannot hate him after all she has a high tolerance of him. She thinks that she has lost Mr. B forever; she blames her heart which she had trusted so much at the beginning. This is what she says “O my treacherous, treacherous Heart! to serve me thus! And give no Notice to me of the Mischiefs thou wast about to bring upon me!”

Mr. B becomes a good man who at all costs wants to recognize and be good to people and recognize the good in them even when they are of a lower status than him. Mr. B becomes brave to an extent that he goes against the society in that he marries whoever he wishes, despite the fact that he has relatives who are interfering and they want him to marry their choice. The sister attacks Pamela about her marriage but she fights for the love of her husband. He realizes that the society is not the match for their intelligence, good sense and honesty, he goes ahead confesses,
How then, with the Distance between us, and in the World’s Judgment, can I think of making you my Wife? —yet I must have you; I cannot bear the Thoughts of any other Man supplanting me in your Affections.” (213). He becomes a hero, he says these words to her not for fun but he actually means each and every word that he says. This makes Mr. B to change his mind about the class difference between them and marries the woman he loves and all they expect from there is love and happiness thereafter. He becomes the hero in the end because of his reformation to a better person.

Mr. B changes because he has fallen in love with the rebellious nature of Pamela but after their marriage he still expects her to be totally submissive. He becomes furious when Pamela fails to meet him up at a neighbor’s place when he told her to come there. Before they got engaged Pamela had sworn that no husband shall make her adjust herself for him but we see that once they get engaged she accepts and assures B. Bat this time is depicted to be a changeable yet selfish and subject to rages that are ungovernable: he wants to transform honestly, he promises Pamela that he will transform and avoid any form of infidelity but it seems impossible in the first place. She cannot imagine him being chaste in the better part of the relationship. She decides to spend the rest of her married life turning a blind eye on the husband’s affair and protecting all the female servants at her service, that’s the only way they could live in peace. He realized that instead of freezing her with fear he could melt her with love. It could be less difficult for him to find a wife that is dutiful.

According to Flint (1989), Mr. B discusses his faults of temper this is because most of the people in the upper class are prone to it. They have a very spoiled childhood hence they become insolent and obstinate. He thinks that marriage between two people of the same class cannot last because they do not know how to yield to each other and most of the marriages usually results to misery. Pamela was not born in the upper class family that is why she will be able to perform her part and yield to all her functions in the marriage. He goes ahead to describe a qualities of a wife that he would desire, he wants the kind of woman who will “draw a veil over his mistakes” and also make him feel “morally sure” and she also had him as a preference to all men. Pamela will not be contented in her marriage until she accepts the good and bad side of the man that she got married to. He has to accept her new social role and consolidate it to her daily life.

Finally we can see that the defense of Pamela virtue led to Mr. B’s respect towards her. He loves her so much and asks her to confirm the fact that he is the only man in her life. Pamela does not believe in Mr. B’s gentleness she thinks he is making everything up. He defends himself by saying that were it not for the love he felt for Pamela he wouldn’t have let her torment him as she did. We see a total change in Mr. B’s actions and even words. Pamela is sure that she can trust in the goodness of B thought she was not fully confident about it. The first episode ends when Pamela is so worried if B has changed for the better, she tries to think what she would do if he is not changed all together. In the second part of the book she notices that he has changed. She also realizes that the problem is now with her and not B anymore.

References

Richardson Samula (2001). Pamela : or, Virtual Rewarded. London: Messers Rivington & Osbron.

Doody Margaret Ann (1995). Introduction to Samuel Richardson’s Pamela. Viking Press.

Flint, Christopher. (1989) “The Anxiety of Affluence: Family and Class (Dis) order in Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded.” Studies in English Literature 29: 489-515.