The Comparison of Pamela Andrews and Moll Flanders

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  • Topic: Love, Moll Flanders, Virtue
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  • Published : July 19, 2010
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The comparison of characters: Pamela Andrews and Moll Flanders by Miroslava Novysedláková

Two beautiful girls. Maybe at first glance we would say that there is certainly nothing what these woman have in common, of course, except their outstanding beauty. But there is more than one could expect.

Firstly, both are being seduced by their masters, but each of them copes with it quite differently. Pamela Andrews is enormously addicted to maintenance of her virtue. Her virginity is her „Jewel“ according to advices of her parents, strong devoted Christians. This „Jewel“ characterises her actions and becomes the „obstacle“ of fullfillment of erotic imagination of her master Mr. B. Pamela would rather die than to have a sex without being married to this man. But isn´t it just a doctrine which is engraved by strong Christian upbrigning of her poor parents? Twenty-first century man would certainly never believe that such a virtuous girl could ever existed. On the contrary, Moll Flanders is an orphan girl without christian influence upon her pubescence. She is a daughter of a felon who was exiled to the plantations in Virginia. Moll is looked after by a nurse who represents the only positive element of her childhood. Later this woman died and Moll is sent to a rich family as a companion of young ladies. But there are also men. Two brothers who find her very attractive. The Eldest brother wants only to seduce her and have pleasures of her flesh. Second brother is much more honest and wants to marry her but it´s already late. She has succumbed of the temptation of the eldest. There is the major contrary. Moll is seduced without any significant protest from her side. Pamela continually defends her virginity and the only „Jewel“ she is possess. Both of this girls realised their beauty and power of it upon males. But Pamela´s vanity is repressed by her strong Christian belief. Moll is very keen on everything which means better life conditions – money, beautiful dresses etc. She is paid afterwards she is seduced. She become a whore. But who is the hypocrite? Pamela or Moll? Maybe it would be better said that Moll is, at least at the beginning much more naive than Pamela and more sincere in her actions. She lives for a moment. Pamela also has a vanity but permanently repressed by the virtue. She is aware of her unique beauty and maybe by continuance of her references to her poverty as her pride tries to remind herself where´s her limits of her „poor“ position among rich young ladies which are trying to attract Mr. B. If Pamela wouldn´t persuade herself she is not worth such a man, maybe than we could also see her jealous. It´s evident she is in love with him from the very beginning but this feelings are also repressed such as many others, for example her sexual desire. Moll reveals her feelings by retelling the actions and everything she has done was the result of her imediate feeling. She struggles through the whole life but lives without no internal repudiation. She is aware of what she wants and needs in the moment of doing it even though she regrets it in later years.

Beauty is feature of Pamela as well as of Moll. But Pamela has a pattern how to cope with it in a modesty and prudence manner – her Christian education and influence of her parents. However she is acting like a martyr, it is clear she admires her image she sees in a mirror. She is still talking about how her Lady, later her Master and others tells her she is a real beauty. Pamela also continually finds important how her clothing represent her. She mentions that she is poor and dresses badly because of her virtue. That idea seems „unbelievable“ most of contemporary readers. However S. Richardson wrote Pamela or Virture Rewarded as a psychological novel, the only glimpse to her real psychology is represented by a scene as she is staying in front of the looking-glass. It seems her awareness of her beauty puts prudence and virtue in her...
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