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Write an essay on the contribution to the organisation of one or more of the novels in which they feature by one of the following character types: the unmarried older woman, the original or eccentric person, the ingenuous person, the loyal servant.

Write an essay on the contribution to the organisation of one or more of the novels in which they feature by one of the following character types: the unmarried older woman, the original or eccentric person, the ingenuous person, the loyal servant.

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Mengmeng Yan. Originally submitted for EN3161 The Development of the Novel to 1840 at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr Tom Jones in the category of English Literature
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Mengmeng Yan. Originally submitted for EN3161 The Development of the Novel to 1840 at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr Tom Jones in the category of English Literature

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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02/15/2014

 
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Certain character types, the kinds of behaviour they engage in and the kinds of observation they make, are central to the ways in which these novels constructtheir narratives. Write an essay on the contribution to the organisation oone or more of the novels in which they feature by one of the followingcharacter types: the unmarried older woman, the original or eccentric person,the ingenuous person, the loyal servant. These categories may be found incombination with one another.
 I.
 
 Abstract:
As an important minor character in Samuel Richardson’s
Pamela
, Mrs Jewkescontributes to the construction of the narrative by playing the role both of a loyalservant and of an older woman. Her ill-principled loyalty to her master and herunhelpful experience as an older woman not only intensify Pamela’s disadvantagedsituation during her imprisonment in Mr B.’s Lincolnshire estate, but also act as afoil to the heroine’s defence of virtue which Mr B. gradually comes to understand.Pamela’s dramatic rise in status causes Mrs Jewkes’s change from the heroine’s jailor to, in Pamela’s own words, ‘one of the most obliging creatures in the world’(295). Mrs Jewkes’s change continues to testify to her single-minded obedience toher superiors, for her loyalty to Pamela comes not from her sympathy andunderstanding but from Pamela’s new position as Mr B.’s wife. However, MrsJewkes’s change also allows the reader to perceive her from multiple aspects, andexemplifies the novel’s kindness to human imperfections. Despite her vile act inassisting Mr B. to seduce Pamela the servant girl, Mrs Jewkes is also the personwho defends Pamela the mistress from Lady Davers’s violence and assaults. Theresemblance between Mrs Jewkes’s conducts and those of several other charactersin this novel, such as Robin the coachman, John the messenger, and theneighbourhood gentry in Lincolnshire, demonstrates the realistic feature of thenovel as a literary genre through its presentation of social relationships in the realworld of eighteenth-century England.
 
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 II.
 
 Main Text:
The rise of the novel was recognised for its test of truth which seeks to reflect thereal world of human experience. The characters in the novel, despite theirdifferences, are not isolated individuals; they function within a plot whose uniformplan requires their connections. This essay will discuss the role of ‘Mrs Jewkes’in
Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded 
in three major aspects. First, Mrs Jewkes’ssingle-minded loyalty to her master intensifies the heroine’s plight during herimprisonment by Mr B.. Second, Mrs Jewkes’s change of role from the heroine’s“jailor” to her faithful servant after her marriage not only testifies to Pamela’sdevelopment within the novel but also allows the reader to observe Mrs Jewkesfrom multiple aspects. Last, certain observations and behaviours of Mrs Jewkesresemble those of other characters within the novel, through which a connectionbetween characterisation and social reality can be established. As an importantminor character who is involved in almost two-third of the novel’s narrative, MrsJewkes accompanies the development of the central unifying theme – courtship andmarriage – of 
Pamela
. In the meantime, the characterisation of Mrs Jewkesexemplifies the novel’s ideological agenda which is both didactic, and kind tohuman imperfections.Pamela’s apprehensions about Mr B.’s licentious advances signify theproblematic courtship within the novel. Mrs Jewkes intensifies the heroine’s plightby subjecting her to a form of imprisonment, following her master’s instructions.This intensification of Pamela’s disadvantaged situation can be argued as pivotal tothe novel’s narrative structure, for it eventually leads to the growth of mutualunderstanding between the lovers and hence to the happy resolution of thecourtship.The antagonism between Pamela and Mrs Jewkes is established soon aftertheir meeting; Mrs Jewkes’s single-minded obedience to Mr B. and her callousnesstowards the heroine’s pleas for sympathy are repeatedly recorded by Pamela in her
 
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 journal. Upon Pamela’s arrival at Mr B.’s Lincolnshire estate, where she is to besubjected to imprisonment, Mrs Jewkes reveals her role as Mr B’s deputy veryplainly to the heroine. Mrs Jewkes suggests that she has ‘a letter of instructions’from the master and that ‘if [Pamela’s] desire, and [Mr B.’s] will, come to clashonce, [she] shall do as [Mr B.] bids her, let it be what it will’.
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If Mrs Jewkes’srigorous obedience to her master is not enough to make Pamela despair, herinability to understand Pamela’s defence of virtue truly isolates the heroine in theLincolnshire household. For example, when Pamela compares Mrs Jewkes’ssurveillance of her to cutting her throat on Mr B.’s behalf, for her ruin would beworse than her death, Mrs Jewkes laughs at Pamela:How strangely you talk! Are not the two sexes made for eachother? And is it not natural for a man to love a pretty woman?And suppose he can obtain his desires, is that so bad ascutting her throat? (148)Mrs Jewkes’s response reveals that she is devoted to ignorance on matters of morality. Moreover, Mrs Jewkes’s crude sexual observations sound increasinglyrepulsive to Pamela. She once remarks filthily that Pamela would make ‘a finebed-fellow’ for her master, for which she is reproached by the heroine as talkinglike ‘a vile London prostitute’ (219). Such squabbles between these twocharacters and Pamela’s internal responses to Mrs Jewkes’s offences through her journal both characterise the “jailor” and reflect the resistant side of the heroine,who is capable of aggression.The heroine’s ordeal reaches a climax in the bedchamber scene (Volume I,Letter XXV), in which Mr B. attempts to rape her by disguising himself as the maidNan. In this scene, Mrs Jewkes not only acts as a midwife who assists her master inthe attempted consummation, but also plays the role of Mr B.’s keen instructor who
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All quotations from this text are taken from
Pamela
, ed. Peter Sabor (London: Penguin, 1980).This quotation is from p.147 of the text. Subsequent citations from this novel will be given inparentheses.

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