demand for books and other reading materials. The 1700s saw the emergence of newspapers, magazines, and a new kind of fiction written in prose-the novel.

N. The Novel
The novel, as its name implies, is different from older prose narratives because it is new-set in present-day society-not in some romantic past of knights and dragons in far-off lands. Just like its stories, its prose language is more contemporary and conversational than the poetry of older narratives. The writer of a novel aimed at the individual reader reading alone rather than the communal audience for drama. The novel thus was a form that grew out of a period in history where the individual rather than the community was growing in importance. In the Protestant religions that spread after the Reformation in the 16th century, each person was individually responsible for her or his salvation, as opposed to the traditional Catholic community of believers. Protestants were "people of the Book"believers who read and interpreted the Bible for themselves as opposed to Catholics who took their religious instruction from priests. The first book to come from Gutenberg's printing press, after all, was the Bible, and the rapid dissemination of printed Bibles-in various modem European language translations--helped fuel the Reformation. A Catholic might wryly observe that the proliferation of printed Bibles led to the many different religious "sects" or denominations of Protestantism, as various groups disagreed over the meaning of one or another passage of scripture. In economics, too, capitalism made each person an individual economic unit in a business or in "selling" his or her own labor. In politics, individualism underlay the ideas of democracy, equality, and "inalienable rights" that led to the formulation of countries such as the United States of America. Not only was the novel part of this new movement toward individualism, it frequently focused its narrative on an individual. So many of the titles of early novelsRobinson Crusoe, Pamela, Joseph Andrews-reflect their focus on how an individual struggles to overcome the opposition of nature or society. As various writers of the 18th century experimented with writing novels, they tried different ways of giving form to these long, prose narratives. Novels were published as printed books and sought to attract a wide readership. Novels appealed primarily to middle-class people who had learned to read, had the money to purchase books, andespecially middle-class women and girls-the leisure time to devote to reading now that servants did their household chores. As Martin S. Day has observed, "With the 18th century came an expansion of cities, a greater mobility ofthe population, an increase in trade, and a greater individual and social self-consciousness; hence the average man met more people than ever before and realized as never before the interdependence of society. The novel essentially

380 undertook the task of helping mankind understand the position of the individual in the larger social organism." What form did this new literary genre take? Let's look at excerpts from three novels from the mid-I 700s to see how three different novelists-Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, and Samuel Richardson-solved the problem of creating the form of the novel. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Daniel Defoe began life as Daniel Foe, the son of a London butcher, who later added the Frenchified "De" to his last name. After receiving a basic high school education, he became a merchant and traveled extensively (at one point he was captured by Algerian pirates). After several failures in business, he eked out a living as a journalist, writing for newspapers, pamphlets, and other publications in support of the middle class as it struggled for power and position against the entrenched, aristocratic landowners of England. Only in his sixties did he turn to writing novels, such as Robinson Crusoe (1719). His novels were popular and sold well but could not lift Defoe out of his lifelong financial woes. He died, bankrupt, hiding from his creditors. While Robinson Crusoe is his most famous novel, the book that was most important in establishing one way to give form to the novel was The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. Defoe presents this fictional novel as the "true" autobiography of a notorious thief, prostitute, and convict. Following the form of autobiography, he creates a character, "Moll Flanders," who tells the story of her life in her own voice. Such a way of having a character tell his or her own life story using the first-person pronouns ("I," "my," etc.) is a very traditional use of a storyteller. Here is an excerpt from Defoe's novel, in which Moll recounts the loss of her virginity to a young man in an aristocratic house where she works as a servant. from Moll Flanders (1722) When we were together he began to talk very gravely to me, and to tell me he did not bring me there to betray me; that his passion for me would not suffer him to abuse me; that he resolved to marry me as soon as he carne to his estate; that in the meantime, if I would grant his request, he would maintain me very honourably; and made me a thousand protestations of his sincerity and of his affection to me; and that he would never abandon me, and as I may say, made a thousand more preambles than he need to have done. However, as he pressed me to speak, I told him I had no reason to question the sincerity of his love to me after so many protestations, but-sand there I stopped, as if! left him to guess the rest. 'But what, my dear?' says he. 'I guess what you mean: what if you should be with child? Is not that it? Why, then,' says he, 'I'll take care of you and provide for you, and the child too; and that you may see I am not in jest,' says he, 'here's an

-------------------------------------~----381 earnest for you,' and with that he pulls out a silk purse, with an hundred guineas in it, and gave it me. 'And I'll give you such another,' says he, 'every year till I marry you.' My colour came and went, at the sight of the purse and with the fire of his proposal together, so that I could not say a word, and he easily perceived it; so putting the purse into my bosom, I made no more resistance to him, but let him do just what he pleased, and as often as he pleased; and thus I finished my own destruction at once, for from this day, being forsaken of my virtue and my modesty, I had nothing of value left to recommend me, either to God's blessing or man's assistance.


Fictional Form in Moll Flanders
By having his character Moll tell the story of her life in her own words, Defoe used what we now call the first-person point of view, a form of storytelling in which the narrator is a character in the story he or she tells. Such a point of view has its problems: a character who tells the story in her or his own voice cannot recount incidents in the story where they were not present; they can't tell us what other characters in the story are thinking; they are limited solely to what they have experienced of the' events that make up the story. Using the first-person point of view, however, can make for a very gripping, intense way of telling a story, as it does here, where we, as readers, feel we are physically present at Moll's seduction. The first-person point of view also gives us insight into the mind of the character who narrates the story. In this excerpt, for example, the young man who is trying to seduce Moll pleads with her over and over, saying he will marry her once he becomes old enough to inherit his father's money. Moll confides to us as readers, however, that she was ready to sleep with him on the spot and thus "he made a thousand more preambles than he need to have done." The fact that Moll was eager to make love to him also makes us regard her hint about worrying he might get her pregnant as a ploy. When she looks reluctant about the prospect of making love, he guesses she's worried about getting pregnant, so he promises he'll take care of her and gives her a purse full of "guineas" (gold coins) to show her his intentions are, if not honorable, honest. Moll then unintentionally betrays her own values by saying she was more excited by seeing a purse full of gold coins than she was turned on by the boy's passion for hera kind of delicious irony that can be created with first-person point of view. A character may be telling the reader something with the intention of creating a positive impression but the reader "sees through" the narrator's story to her unintended revelations. Moll is no innocent little waif seduced by a sophisticated rake but a shrewd little minx out to get money for sexual favors. In telling the story of her first seduction years later, she regards it in hard, economic terms. As a poor servant girl in a crassly capitalistic society, she had only one economic "commodity" to "sell"-her virginity. When she gave it away to this wealthy boy for a sack of gold coins, she lost her chance to make him marry her-and make her wealthy.

382 Notice, too, how Defoe combines showing and telling in the way his narrator describes the scene of her seduction. Although it happens at a particular time and place, Moll does not really present the moment of her loss of virginity as a dramatic scene, for there is very little dialogue in direct discourse. In direct discourse, the writer presents what the characters say in lines of dialogue-as in a dramatic play-set off by quotation marks. Defoe uses a few passages of direct discourse, as when the young man says, "'But what, my dear?'says he." Even here, however, Defoe does not put the man's lines of dialogue in a new, indented paragraph, as would become customary in later fiction. The man's words simply run together with the rest ofthe paragraph. Most of the other dialogue between Moll and her lover is given in indirect discourse, where Moll summarizes what was said-telling rather than showing. For example, she tells us that "However, as he pressed me to speak, I told him that I had no reason to question the sincerity of his love." If that exchange of dialogue were presented dramatically, it would appear more like dialogue in a play: "Please, my darling," he said, "speak to me." "I have no reason to question the sincerity of your love," I replied.

The distinctionbetween direct and indirect discourse is a subtle one, but it distinguishes the form of this passage-and of Defoe's entire novel-that consists more of narrative summary than dramatic scene-more telling than showing. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) Henry Fielding'S family had aristocratic connections, but he was trained in the law and spent most of his career as a justice of the peace, prosecuting criminals and trying to help the poor. He also had some success as a playwright, but when his plays, as well as those of other dramatists, provoked government censorship, he turned to other forms of writing. The enormous success of Samuel Richardson's novel Pamela (see below) in 1740 prompted Fielding to write a comic parody, Shamela in 1741, but then he went on to write more "serious" comic novels, such as Joseph Andrews (1742) and Tom Jones (1749). While Defoe modeled his novels on the form of autobiography and memoir, Fielding thought the novel should be a prose version of epic, especially those comic epic poems that supposedly were destroyed when the great library at Alexandria burned in classical times. Instead of using the kind of first-person narrator Defoe used in Moll Flanders, Fielding made himself the narrator of his novels, much like Horner was the narrator of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Such a narrator is sometimes called omniscient because he can tell us what is happening in various settings, what information we need to know earlier events in the story, and even what various characters are thinking. Fielding and other 18th -century novelists even went so far as to have their narrators speak directly to the "dear reader," talk about the book they had written, and describe their characters as fictional creations rather than, as Defoe had done, pretend they were actual people.


In this passage from Tom Jones, for example, Fielding introduces a new character, Sophia Western, and recounts an incident that happened when she, Tom Jones, and Tom's nasty cousin Blifil were children. from Tom Jones (1749) Tom Jones, when very young, had presented Sophia with a little bird, which he had taken from the nest, had nursed up, and taught to sing. Of this bird, Sophia, then about thirteen years old, was so extremely fond, that her chief business was to feed and tend it, and her chief pleasure to play with it. By these means little Tomrriy, for so the bird was called, was become so tame, that it would feed out of the hand of its mistress, would perch upon the finger, and lie contented in her bosom, where it seemed almost sensible of its own happiness; though she always kept a small string about its leg, nor would ever trust it with the liberty of flying away. One day, when Mr. Allworthy and his whole family dined at Mr. Western's, Master Blifil, being in the garden with little Sophia, and observing the extreme fondness that she showed for her little bird, desired her to trust it for a moment in his hands. Sophia presently complied with the young gentleman's request, and after some previous caution, delivered him her bird; of which he was no sooner in possession, than he slipt the string from its leg and tossed it into the air. The foolish animal no sooner perceived itself at liberty, than forgetting all the favours it had received from Sophia, it flew directly from her, and perched on a bough at some distance. Sophia, seeing her bird gone, screamed out so loud that Tom Jones, who was at a little distance, immediately ran to her assistance. He was no sooner informed of what had happened, than he cursed Blifil for a .pitiful malicious rascal; and then immediately stripping off his coat he applied himself to climbing the tree to which the bird escaped. Tom had almost recovered his little namesake, when the branch on which it was perched, and that hung over a canal, broke, and the poor lad plumped over head and ears into the water. Sophia's concern now changed its object. And as she apprehended the boy's life was in danger, she screamed ten times louder than before; and indeed Master Blifil himself now seconded her with all the vociferation in his power. The company, who were sitting in a room next the garden, were instantly alarmed, and came all forth; but just as they reached the canal, Tom (for the water was luckily pretty shallow in that part) arrived safely on shore.


Thwackum fell violently on poor Tom, who stood dropping and shivering before him, when Mr. Allworthy desired him to have patience; and turning to Master Blifil, said, "Pray, child, what is the reason of all this disturbance?" Master Blifil answered, "Indeed, uncle, I am very sorry for what I have done; I have been unhappily the occasion of it all. I had Miss Sophia's bird in my hand, and thinking the poor creature languished for liberty, I own I could not forbear giving it what it desired; for I always thought there was something very cruel in confining anything. It seemed to be against the law of nature, by which everything hath a right to liberty; nay, it is even unchristian, for it is not doing what we would be done by; but if I had imagined Miss Sophia would have been so much concerned at it, I am sure I never would have done it; nay, if I had known what would have happened to the bird itself: for when Master Jones, who climbed up that tree after it, fell into the water, the bird took a second flight, and presently a nasty hawk carried it away." Poor Sophia, who now first heard of her little Tommy's fate (for her concern for Jones had prevented her perceiving it when it happened), shed a shower of tears. These Mr. Allworthy endeavoured to assuage, promising her a much finer bird: but she declared she would never have another. Her father chid her for crying so for a foolish bird; but could not help telling young Blifil, if he was a son of his, his backside should be well flayed. Sophia now returned to her chamber, the two young gentlemen were sent home, and the rest of the company returned to their bottle; where a conversation ensued on the subject of the bird, so curious, that we think it deserves a chapter by itself

Form in Tom Jones'
Fielding, despite his early experience as a playwright, renders this episode more in narrative summary than dramatic scene. As the omniscient narrator, he gives us exposition about how Tom Jones had given the bird as a present to Sophia, how much she treasured the bird, and how she kept it tied on a string. When we get to a particular time-"One day"-and a particular place-the garden on the estate where Sophia lives, Fielding, like Defoe renders the events that follow more in narrative summary than dramatic scene. Almost all of the dialogue, for example, is reported in indirect discourse, such as "He was no sooner informed of what had happened than he cursed Blifil for a pitiful, malicious rascal." We don't get the actual dialogue here reported in direct discourse but instead a summary of the exchange among Sophia, Tom, and Blifil. We only get dialogue in direct discourse near the end of the scene as Mr. Allworthy, Tom's guardian, asks Blifil, "Pray, child, what is the reason of all this disturbance?" Blifil then replies with a long speech in dialogue in which he informs the others (and the reader) of something Fielding the narrator might have told us-that the escaped bird was attacked and carried off by a hawk.

385 After Blifil has spoken, however, Fielding returns to summarizing the action and reporting dialogue in indirect discourse, such as Sophia's father's telling Blifil that if the boy had been his son, he would have gotten a spanking for releasing the bird. Fielding, like Defoe, thus relies more on telling than showing, even though his omniscient narrator is very different from Defoe's first-person narrator.

The Epistolary Novel
The most unusual form used in 18th century fiction was the epistolary novel. "Epistolary" derives from "epistole," the Greek word for message or letter, and "epistles" became a term for letters written from one person to another. While today, given cell phones, e-mail, and text-messaging, people seldom write letters to one another, in the 18th century and for long afterwards, people spent many hours a day writing letters and reading the letters they received from others. A novel whose form was based upon a series of letters from different characters to one another would therefore resonate with the habits of middle-class readers. It would also overcome some of the limitations of the first-person narrator by having various "first-persons" speak in their own letters about things that they had experienced "first-hand." The immediacy, intimacy, and power of the first-person narrator could thus have more ofthe range and diversity of narration that omniscient narrators such as Fielding had used in Tom Jones. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) Samuel Richardson was the son of a cabinet-maker-another middle-class kid who would go on to write novels that appealed to a middle-class audience of readers. He was apprenticed to a printer, and, like so many aspiring middle-class boys, married the boss's daughter. Be rose in his trade so that his printing firm eventually handled most' of the printing for Parliament and the Crown. When Richardson was in his fifties, some publishers who knew he was a great writer of letters himself, asked him to prepare a book of "sample letters" that readers could use as models when they had to write a letter to a business about a bill they owed, to write a letter of reference for a former employee, and the many other kinds of letters middle-class people had to write in the course of a day. In preparing this "how to write a letter" book, Richardson thought about an incident he had heard about years before-of the letters a young girl who had become a servant in the house of a wealthy family had written to her parents about the sexual advances the aristocratic man ofthe house had made towards her. He began writing a novel about just such a serving-girl who successfully fends off her master's sexual advances until he is so desirous of her that he proposes marriage, lifting her from the rank of a servant to a wealthy lady-the kind of Cinderella story that would appeal to middleclass readers, especially young women. Richardson entitled the novel Pamela: or Virtue Rewarded, and when it was published in 1740 it became a sensational success. Some readers, however, such as Henry Fielding, saw the heroine as cynically using her sexuality as a commodity to gain material advancement through marriage. Prompted by

386 the success of Richardson's Pamela, Fielding and wrote Shamela,.his comic parody of the novel,

In developing the form of the epistolary novel, Richardson was able to create deep
characterizations, since in letters people poured out their most intimate thoughts and feelings. The epistolary form also had its own limitations. See if you can see what those formal opportunities and constraints were in these opening sections of Pamela: from Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740) Letter I Dear Father and Mother, I have great trouble, and some comfort, to acquaint you with. The trouble is, that my good lady died of the illness I mentioned to you, and left us all much grieved for the loss of her; for she was a dear good lady, and kind to all us her servants. Much I feared, that as I was taken by her ladyship to wait upon her person, I should be quite destitute again, and forced to return to you and my poor mother, who have enough to do to maintain yourselves; and, as my lady's goodness had put me to write and cast accounts, and made me a little expert at my needle, and otherwise qualified above my degree, it was not every family that could have found a place that your poor Pamela was fit for: but God, whose graciousness to us we have so often experienced at a pinch, put it into my good lady's heart, on her death-bed, just an hour before she expired, to recommend to my young master all her servants, one by one; and when it came to my turn to be recommended, (for I was sobbing and crying at her pillow) she could only say, My dear son!--and so broke off a little; and then recovering=Remember my poor Pamela-And these were some of her last words! 0 how my eyes run--Don't wonder to see the paper so blotted. Well, but God's will must be done!--And so comes the comfort, that I shall not be obliged to return back to be a clog upon my dear parents! For my master said, I will take care of you all, my good maidens; and for you, Pamela, (and took me by the hand; yes, he took my hand before them all,) for my dear mother's sake, I will be a friend to you, and you shall take care of my linen. God bless him! and pray with me, my dear father and mother, for a blessing upon him, for he has given mourning and a year's wages to all my lady's servants; and I having no wages as yet, my lady having said she should do for me as I deserved, ordered the housekeeper to give me mourning with the rest; and gave me with his own hand four golden guineas, and some silver, which were in myoid lady's pocket when she died; and said, if I was a good girl, and faithful and diligent, he would be a friend to me, for his mother's sake. And so I send you these four guineas for your comfort; for Providence will not let me want: And so you may pay some old debt with part, and keep the other part to comfort you both. If I get more, I am sure it is my duty,

387 and it shall be my care, to love and cherish you both; for you have loved and cherished me, when I could do nothing for myself. I send them by John, our footman, who goes your way: but he does not know what he carries; because I seal them up in one of the little pill-boxes, which my lady had, wrapt close in paper-that they mayn't chink; and be sure don't open it before him. I know, dear father and mother, I must give you both grief and pleasure; and so I will only say, Pray for your Pamela; who will ever be Your most dutiful Daughter. I have been scared out of my senses; for just now, as I was folding up this letter in my late lady's dressing-room, in comes my young master! Good sirs! how was I frightened! I went to hide the letter in my bosom; and he, seeing me tremble, said, smiling, To whom have you been writing, Pamela?--I said, in my confusion, Pray your honour forgive me!--Only to my father and mother. He said, Well then, let me see how you are come on in your writing! 0 how ashamed I was!--He took it, without saying more, and read it quite through, and then gave it me again; --and I said, Pray your honour forgive me! --Yet I know not for what: for he was always dutiful to his parents; and why should he be angry that I was so to mine? And indeed he was not angry; for he took me by the hand, and said, You are a good girl, Pamela, to be kind to your aged father and mother. I am not angry with you for writing such innocent matters as these: though you ought to be wary what tales you send out of a family.--Be faithful and diligent; and do as you should do, and I like you the better for this. And then he said, Why, Pamela, you write a very pretty hand, and spell tolerably too. I see my good mother's care in your learning has not been thrown away upon you. She used to say you loved reading; you may look into any of her books, to improve yourself, so you take care of them. To be sure I did nothing but courtesy and cry, and was all in confusion, at his goodness. Indeed he is the best of gentlemen, I think! But I am making another long letter: So will only add to it, that I shall ever be Your dutiful daughter, Pamela Andrews. Letter II [In answer to the preceding.] Dear Pamela, Your letter was indeed a great trouble, and some comfort, to me and your poor mother. We are troubled, to be sure, for your good lady's death, who took such care of you, and gave you learning, and, for three or four years past, has always been giving you clothes and linen, and every thing that a gentlewoman need not be ashamed to appear in. But our chief trouble is, and indeed a very great one, for fear you should be brought to anything dishonest or wicked, by being set so above yourself. Every body talks how you have come on, and what a genteel girl you are; and some say you are very pretty; and, indeed, six months since, when I saw you last, I should have thought so myself, if you

388 was not our child. But what avails all this, if you are to be ruined and undone!--Indeed, my dear Pamela, we begin to be in great fear for you; for what signify all the riches in the world, with a bad conscience, and to be dishonest! We. are, 'tis true, very poor, and find it hard enough to live; though once, as you know, it was better with us. But we would sooner live upon the water, and, if possible, the clay of the ditches I contentedly dig, than live better at the price of our child's ruin. I hope the good 'squire has no design: but when he has given you so much money, and speaks so kindly to you, and praises your coming on; and, oh, that fatal word! that he would be kind to you, if you would do as you should do, almost kills us with fears. I have spoken to good old widow Mumford about it, who, you know, has formerly lived in good families; and she puts us in some comfort; for she says it is not unusual, when a lady dies, to give what she has about her person to her waiting-maid, and to such as sit up with her in her illness. But, then, why should he smile so kindly upon you? Why should he take such a poor girl as you by the hand, as your letter says he has done twice? Why should he stoop to read your letter to us; and commend your writing and spelling? And why should he give you leave to read his mother's books?--Indeed, indeed, my dearest child, our hearts ache for you; and then you seem so full of joy at his goodness, so taken with his kind expressions, (which, truly, are very great favours, ifhe means well) that we fear--yes, my dear child, we fear--you should be too grateful,--and reward him with that jewel, your virtue, which no riches, nor favour, nor any thing in this life, can make up to you. I, too, have written a long letter, but will say one thing more; and that is, that, in the midst of our poverty and misfortunes, we have trusted in God's goodness, and been honest, and doubt not to be happy hereafter, if we continue to be good, though our lot is hard here; but the loss of our dear child's virtue would be a grief that we could not bear, and would bring our grey hairs to the grave at once. If, then, you love us, if you wish for God's blessing, and your own future happiness, we both charge you to stand upon your guard: and, if you find the least attempt made upon your virtue.tbe sure you leave every thing behind you, and come away to us; for we had rather see you all covered with rags, and even follow you to the churchyard, than have it said, a child of ours preferred any worldly conveniences to her virtue. We accept kindly your dutiful present; but, till we are out of pain, cannot make use of it, for fear we should partake of the price of our poor daughter's shame: so have laid it up in a rag among the thatch, over the window, for a while, lest we should be robbed. With our blessings, and our hearty prayers for you, we remain, Your careful, but loving Father and Mother, John and Elizabeth Andrews. Letter III

389 Dear Father, I must needs say, your letter has filled me with trouble, for it has made my heart, which was overflowing with gratitude for my master's goodness, suspicious and fearful: and yet I hope I shall never find him to act unworthy of his character; for what could he get by ruining such a poor young creature as me? But that which gives me most trouble is, that you seem to mistrust the honesty of your child. No, my dear father and mother, be assured, that, by God's grace, I never will do any thing that shall bring your grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. I will die a thousand deaths, rather than be dishonest any way. Of that be assured, and set your hearts at rest; for although I have lived above myself for some time past, yet I can be content with rags and poverty, and bread and water, and will embrace them, rather than forfeit my good name, let who will be the tempter. And of this pray rest satisfied, and think better of Your dutiful Daughter till death. My master continues to be very affable to me. As yet I see no cause to fear any thing. Mrs. Jervis, the housekeeper, too, is very civil to me, and I have the love of every body. Sure they can't all have designs against me, because they are civil! I hope I shall always behave so as to be respected by every one; and that nobody would do me more hurt than I am sure I would do them. Our John so often goes your way, that I will always get him to call, that you may hear from me, either by writing, (for it brings my hand in,) or by word of mouth. Letter IV Dear Mother, For the last was to my father, in answer to his letter; and so I will now write to you; though I have nothing to say, but what will make me look more like a vain hussy, than any thing else: However, I hope I shan't be so proud as to forget myself. Yet there is a secret pleasure one has to hear one's self praised. You must know, then, that my Lady Davers, who, I need not tell you, is my master's sister, has been a month at our house, and has taken great notice of me, and given me good advice to keep myself to myself. She told me I was a pretty wench, and that every body gave me a very good character, and loved me; and bid me take care to keep the fellows at a distance; and said, that I might do, and be more valued for it, even by themselves.

But what pleased me much was, what I am going to tell you; for at table, as Mrs. Jervis says, my master and her ladyship talking of me, she told him she thought me the prettiest wench she ever saw in her life; and that I was too pretty to live in a bachelor's house; since no lady he might marry would care to continue me with her. He said, I was vastly improved, and had a good share of prudence, and sense above my years; and that it would be pity, that what was my merit should be my misfortune.-- No, says my good lady, Pamela shall come and live with me, I think. He said, with all his heart; he should be glad to have me so well provided for. Well, said she, I'll consult my lord about it. She asked how old I was; and Mrs. Jervis said, I was fifteen last February. O! says she, if the

390 wench (for so she calls all us maiden servants) takes care of herself, she'll improve yet more and more, as well in her person as mind. Now, my dear father and mother, though this may look too vain to be repeated by me; yet are you not rejoiced, as well as I, to see my master so willing to part with me?-This shews that he has nothing bad in his heart. But John is just going away; and so I have only to say, that I am, and will always be, Your honest as well as dutiful Daughter. Pray make use of the money. You may now do it safely. Letter V My Dear Father and Mother, John being to go your way, I am willing to write, because he is so willing to carry any thing for me. He says it does him good at his heart to see you both, and to hear you talk. He says you are both so sensible, and so honest, that he always learns something from you to the purpose. It is a thousand pities, he says, that such worthy hearts should not have better-luck 'in the world! and wonders, that you, my father, who are so well able to teach, and write so good a hand, succeeded no better in the school you attempted to set up; but was forced to go to such hard labour. But this is more pride to me, that I am come of such honest parents, than if I had been born a lady. I hear nothing yet of going to Lady Davers; and I am very easy at present here: for Mrs. Jervis uses me as if! were her own daughter, and is a very good woman, and makes my master's interest her own. She is always giving me good counsel, and I love her next to you two, I think, best of any body. She keeps so good rule and order, she is mightily respected by us all; and takes delight to hear me read to her; and all she loves to hear read, is good books, which we read whenever we are alone; so that I think I am at home with you. She heard one of our men, Harry, who is no better than he should be, speak freely to me; I think he called me his pretty Pamela, and took hold of me, as ifhe would have kissed me; for which, you may be sure, I was very angry: and she took him to task, and was as angry at him as could be; and told me she was very well pleased to see my prudence and modesty, and that I kept all the fellows at a distance. And indeed I am sure I am not proud, and carry it civilly to every body; but yet, methinks, I cannot bear to be looked upon by these men-servants, for they seem as if they would look one through; and, as I generally breakfast, dine, and sup, with Mrs. Jervis, (so good she is to rne.) I am very easy that I have so little to say to them. Not but they are civil to me in the main, for Mrs. Jervis's sake, who they see loves me; and they stand in awe of her, knowing her to be a gentlewoman born, though she has had misfortunes. I am going on again with a long letter; for I love writing, and shall tire you. But, when I began, I only intended to say, that I am quite fearless of any danger now: and, indeed, cannot but wonder at myself, (though your caution to me was your watchful love.) that I should be so foolish as to be so uneasy as I have been: for I am sure my master would not demean himself, so as to think upon such a poor girl as I, for my harm. For such a thing would ruin his credit, as


well as mine, you know: who, to be sure, may expect one of the best ladies in the land. So no more at present, but that I am Your ever dutiful Daughter Letter VI Dear Father and Mother, My master has been very kind since my last; for he has given me a suit of my late lady's clothes, and half a dozen of her shifts, and six fine handkerchiefs, and three of her cambric aprons, and four holland ones. The clothes are fine silk, and too rich and too good for me, to be sure. I wish it was no affront to him to make money of them, and send it to you: it would do me more good. You will be full of fears, I warrant now, of some design upon me, till I tell you, that he was with Mrs. Jervis when he gave them me; and he gave her a mort of good things, at the same time, and bid her wear them in remembrance of her good friend, my lady, his mother. And when he gave me these fine things, he said, These, Pamela, are for you; have them made fit for you, when your mourning is laid by, and wear them for your good mistress's sake. Mrs. Jervis gives you a very good word; and I would have you continue to behave as prudently as you have done hitherto, and every body will be your friend. I was so surprised at his goodness, that I could not tell what to say. I courtesied to him, and to Mrs. Jervis for her good word; and said, I wished I might be deserving of his favour, and her kindness: and nothing should be wanting in me, to the best of my knowledge.

o how

amiable a thing is doing good!--It is all I envy great folks for.

I always thought my young master a fine gentleman, as every body says he is: but he gave these good things to us both with such a graciousness, as I thought he looked like an angel. Mrs. Jervis says, he asked her, If! kept the men at a distance? for, he said, I was very pretty; and to be drawn in to have any of them, might be my ruin, and make me poor and miserable betimes. She never is wanting to give me a good word, and took occasion to launch out in my praise, she says. But I hope she has said no more than I shall try to deserve, though I mayn't at present. I am sure I will always love her, next to you and my dear mother. So I rest Your ever dutiful Daughter.

392 Letter VII Dear Father, Since my last, my master gave me more fine things. He called me up to my late lady's closet, and, pulling out her drawers, he gave me two suits of fine Flanders laced headclothes, three pair of fine silk shoes, two hardly the worse, and just fit for me, (for my lady had a very little foot,) and the other with wrought silver buckles in them; and several ribands and top-knots of all colours; four pair of white fine cotton stockings, and three pair of fine silk ones; and two pair of rich stays. I was quite astonished, and unable to speak for a while; but yet I was inwardly ashamed to take the stockings; for Mrs. Jervis was not there: If she had, it would have been nothing. I believe I received them very awkwardly; for he smiled at my awkwardness, and said, Don't blush, Pamela: Dost think I don't know pretty maids should wear shoes and stockings? I was so confounded at these words, you might have beat me down with a feather. For you must think, there was no answer to be made to this: So, like a fool, I was ready to cry; and went away courtesying and blushing, I am sure, up to the ears; for, though there was no harm in-what' he said, yet I did not know how to take it. But I went and told all to Mrs. Jervis, who said, God put it into his heart to be good to me; and I must double my diligence. It looked to her, she said, as ifhe would fit me in dress for a waiting-maid's place on Lady Davers's own person. But still your kind fatherly cautions came into my head, and made all these gifts nothing near to me what they would have been. But yet, I hope, there is no reason; for what good could it do to him to harm such a simple maiden as me? Besides, to be sure no lady would look upon him, if he should so disgrace himself. So I will make myself easy; and, indeed, I should never have been otherwise, if you had not put it into my head; for my good, I know very well. But, may be, without these uneasinesses to mingle with these benefits, I might be too much puffed up: So I will conclude, all that happens is for our good; and God bless you, my dear father and mother; and I know you constantly pray for a blessing upon me; who am, and shall always be, Your dutiful Daughter. Letter VIII Dear Pamela, I cannot but renew my cautions on your master's kindness, and his free expression to you about the stockings. Yet there may not be, and I hope there is not, any thing in it. But when I reflect, that there possibly may, and that if there should, no less depends upon it than my child's everlasting happiness in this world and the next; it is enough to make one fearful for you. Arm yourself, my dear child, for the worst; and resolve to lose your life sooner than your virtue. What though the doubts I filled you with, lessen the pleasure you would have had in your master's kindness; yet what signify the delights that arise from a few paltry fine clothes, in comparison with a good conscience?


These are, indeed, very great favours that he heaps upon you, but so much the more to be suspected; and when you say he looked so amiably, and like an angel, how afraid I am, that they should make too great an impression upon you! For, though you are blessed with sense and prudence above your years, yet I tremble to think, what a sad hazard a poor maiden of little more than fifteen years of age stands against the temptations of this world, and a designing young gentleman, if he should prove so, who has so much power to oblige, and has a kind of authority to command, as your master. I charge you, my dear child, on both our blessings, poor as we are, to be on your guard; there can be no harm in that. And since Mrs. Jervis is so good a gentlewoman, and so kind to you, I am the easier a great deal, and so is your mother; and we hope you will hide nothing from her, and take her counsel in every thing. So, with our blessings, and assured prayers for you, more than for ourselves, we remain, Your loving Father and Mother. Be sure don't let people's telling you, you are pretty, puff you up; for you did not make yourself, and so can have no praise due to you for it. It is virtue and goodness only, that make the true beauty. Remember that, Pamela.

Letter IX Dear Father and Mother, I am sorry to write you word, that the hopes I had of going to wait on Lady Davers, are quite over. My lady would have had me; but my master, as I heard by the by, would not consent to it. He said her nephew might be taken with me, and I might draw him in, or be drawn in by him; and he thought, as his mother loved me, and committed me to his care, he ought to continue me with him; and Mrs. Jervis would be a mother to me. Mrs. Jervis tells me the lady shook her head, and said, Ah! brother! and that was all. And as you have made me fearful by your cautions, my heart at times misgives me. But I say nothing yet of your caution, or my own uneasiness, to Mrs. Jervis; not that I mistrust her, but for fear she should think me presumptuous, and vain and conceited, to have any fears about the matter, from the great distance between such a gentleman, and so poor a girl. But yet Mrs. Jervis seemed to build something upon Lady Davers's shaking her head, and saying, Ah! brother! and no more. God, I hope, will give me his grace: and so I will not, ifI can help it, make myself too uneasy; for I hope there is no occasion. But every little matter that happens, I will acquaint you with, that you may continue to me your good advice, and pray for Your sad-hearted Pamela.

394 Letter X Dear Mother, You and my good father may wonder you have not had a letter from me in so many weeks; but a sad, sad scene, has been the occasion of it. For to be sure, now it is too plain, that all your cautions were well grounded. 0 my dear mother! I am miserable, truly miserable!--But yet, don't be frightened, I am honest!--God, of his goodness, keep me so!

o this angel of a master! this fine gentleman! this gracious benefactor to your poor Pamela! who was to take care of me at the prayer of his good dying mother; who was so apprehensive for me, lest I should be drawn in by Lord Davers's nephew, that he would not let me go to Lady Davers's: This very gentleman (yes, I must call him gentleman, though he has fallen from the merit of that title) has degraded himself to offer freedoms to his poor servant! He has now shewed himself in his true colours; and, to me, nothing appear so black, and so frightful.
I have not been idle; but had writ from time to time, how he, by sly mean degrees, exposed his wicked views; but somebody stole my letter, and I know not what has become of it. It was a very long one. I fear, he that was mean enough to do bad things, in one respect, did not stick at this. But be it as it will, all the use he can make of it will be, that he may be ashamed of his part; I not of mine: for he will see I was resolved to be virtuous, and gloried in the honesty of my poor parents. I will tell you all, the next opportunity; for I am watched very narrowly; and he says to Mrs. Jervis, This girl is always scribbling; I think she may be better employed. And yet I work all hours with my needle, upon his linen, and the fine linen of the family; and am, besides, about flowering him a waistcoat.--But, oh! my heart's broke almost; for what am I likely to have for my reward, but shame and disgrace, or else ill words, and hard treatment! I'll tell you all soon, and hope I shall find my long letter. Your most afflicted Daughter. May-be, I he and him too much: but it is his own fault if! do. For why did he lose all his dignity with me? Letter XI Dear Mother, Well, I can't find my letter, and so I'll try to recollect it all, and be as brief as I can. All went well enough in the main for some time after my letter but one. At last, I saw some reason to suspect; for he would look upon me, whenever he saw me, in such a manner, as shewed not well; and one day he came to me, as I was in the summer-house in the little garden, at work with my needle, and Mrs. Jervis was just gone from me; and I

395 would have gone out, but he said, No don't go, Pamela; I have something to say to you; and you always fly me when I come near you, as if you were afraid of me. I was much out of countenance, you may well thirik; but said, at last, It does not become your good servant to stay in your presence, sir, without your business required it; and I hope I shall always know my place. Well, says he, my business does require it sometimes; and I have a mind you should stay to hear what I have to say to you. I stood still confounded, and began to tremble, and the more when he took me by the hand; for now no soul was near us. My sister Davers, said he, (and seemed, I thought, to be as much at a loss for words as I,) would have had you live with her; but she would not do for you what I am resolved to do, if you continue faithful and obliging. What say'st thou, my girl? said he, with some eagerness; had'st thou not rather stay with me, than go to my sister Davers? He looked so, as filled me with affrightment; I don't know how; wildly, I thought. I said, when I could speak, Your honour will forgive me; but as you have no lady for me to wait upon, and my good lady has been now dead this twelvemonth, I had rather, if it would not displease you, wait upon Lady Davers, because-I was proceeding, and he said, a little hastily--Because you are a little fool, and know not what's good for yourself. I tell you I will make a gentlewoman of you, if you be obliging, and don't stand in your own light; and so saying, he put his arm about me, and kissed me! Now, you will say, all his wickedness appeared plainly. I struggled and trembled, and was so benumbed with terror, that I sunk down, not in a fit, and yet not myself; and I found myself in his arms, quite void of strength; and he kissed me two or three times, with frightful eagerness. --At last I burst from him, and was getting out of the summerhouse; but he held me back, and shut the door. I would have given my life for a farthing. And he said, I'll do you no harm, Pamela; don't be afraid of me. I said, I won't stay. You won't, hussy! said he: Do you know whom you speak to? I lost all fear, and all respect, and said, Yes, I do, sir, too well!--Well may I forget that I am your servant, when you forget what belongs to a master. I sobbed and cried most sadly. What a foolish hussy you are! said he: Have I done you any harm? Yes, sir, said I, the greatest harm in the world: You have taught me to forget myself and what belongs to me, and have lessened the distance that fortune has made between us, by demeaning yourself, to be so free to a poor servant. Yet, sir, I will be bold to say, I am honest, though poor: and if you was a prince, I would not be otherwise.


He was angry, and said, Who would have you otherwise, you foolish slut! Cease your blubbering. I own I have demeaned myself; but it was only to try you. If you can keep this matter secret, you'll give me the better opinion of your prudence; and here's something, said he, putting some gold in my hand, to make you amends for the fright I put you in. Go, take a walk in the garden, and don't go in till your blubbering is over: and I charge you say nothing of what is past, and all shall be well, and I'll forgive you. I won't take the money, indeed, sir, said I, poor as I am I won't take it. For, to say truth, I thought it looked like taking earnest, and so I put it upon the bench; and as he seemed vexed and confused at what he had done, I took the opportunity to open the door, and went out of the summer-house. He called to me, and said, Be secret; I charge you, Pamela; and don't go in yet, as I told you. and mean must those actions be, and how little must they make the best of gentlemen look, when they offer such things as are unworthy of themselves, and put it into the power of their inferiors to be greater than they! I took a turn or two in the garden, but in sight of the house, for fear of the worst; and breathed upon my hand to dry my eyes, because I would not be too disobedient. My next shall tell you more. Pray for me, my dear father and mother: and don't be angry I have not yet run away from this house, so late my comfort and delight, but now my terror and anguish. I am forced to break off hastily. Your dutiful and honest Daughter.

o how poor

Form in Pamela
Notice how Richardson makes the very act of writing letters dramatic. In her first letter, Pamela's tears over the death of her mistress blot the paper she is writing on. She also encloses some gold coins ("guineas") her master gave her from the purse of her dead mistress, and she explains to her parents that another servant, "John," who delivers her letters to them, will not know the letter contains coins because she has wrapped them in paper so they don't clink together. In later letters, she will describe how her young master catches her in the act of writing, reads her letter, and may even have stolen other of her letters. The letters between Pamela and her father and mother (and later between Pamela and other correspondents) form a kind of "dialogue" that adds to the dramatic power of the epistolary novel. When she describes how her master gives her presents, her father warns her that he may be preparing to take sexual advantage of her. Letters allow her to reveal inner emotions she might not have said in direct conversation with her parents, such as her confessing, in letter four, that she enjoyed being praised for her good looks.

397 Richardson also uses letters the way a dramatist uses dialogue-to provide exposition. In letter five, Pamela reports that John, who delivers her letters, admires her parents and regrets that her father's attempts to establish a school failed and that her father now has to work so hard (her father, in an earlier letter, alluded to the fact that he has to dig ditches for a meager living). Most of the letters consist of narrative summary in which dialogue is reported in indirect discourse. At certain points, however, Richardson has Pamela present action in dramatic scene with dialogue in direct discourse. In letter nine, for example, she describes the scene where her master tells his sister, Lady Davers, that he has decided Pamela will not go to live with her. While much of the scene is reported in narrative summary, she gives the sister's reply-"Ah, brother"-in direct discourse to underscore that Lady Davers realizes her brother is keeping Pamela in his house in order to seduce her. When that seduction occurs, Richardson has Pamela write a letter to her parentsletter ten-saying only that her master has made a pass at her, that he spies on her writing, and that she will provide details in a later letter. After building up that suspense, Pamela's next letter-letter eleven-presents those sexual overture in a dramatic scene replete with dialogue. The epistolary form of storytelling allows Richardson to concentrate on the thoughts, emotions, and psychology of his characters. Where Defoe and Fielding move their stories forward in a swift narrative, Richardson lingers over intensely emotional moments. He is the first novelist who prefers "character" over "plot"; he is less interested in action-"what happens"-than he is in a character's "impression" of what happens, of how action "affects" character. By using the epistolary form of narrative, Richardson lets us come to know a character as intimately as if we could read his or her most private letters. One challenge to a writer using the epistolary form of narrative is to make the letters of different characters read as differently as the characters speak in conversation, so that an epistolary novel has the same variety as dialogue among different characters in a dramatic play.

The Novel of Manners
By the end of the is" century, several novelists, most notably Jane Austen, began to write novels about everyday social life among middle-class families in England. There were few outwardly exciting actions in such novels-just the ordinary events of middleclass life. What made such everyday occurrences interesting was the way characters-characters who were often very intelligent, sensitive, and witty-responded to such prosaic doings as holding a dinner party, going to a dance, or visiting an acquaintance. Because such novels portrayed the customs, polite (and sometimes impolite) behavior, and social habits of the middle and upper class, they are called novels of manners. Novels of manners seldom are about exciting adventures, physically violent conflicts, or historically significant events such as military battles. Instead, they deal with the subtle relations among genteel people in their day-to-day social intercourse-"manners" in a much broader sense than knowing when you need to write a thank-you note or using the proper forks for salad and dessert at the dinner table.


Jane Austen (1775-1817) Jane Austen was the daughter of an Episcopal rector and grew up in several cities, small and large, in the southwest of England. After the death of her father in 1805, she moved around with her mother and sisters, finally settling in the tiny village of Chawton. Except for occasional visits to London, she lived in Chawton, and her novels reflect the daily life among the middle and upper classes in such villages. Although she lived during the Napoleonic wars and the social upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, life in such villages was remarkably placid and outwardly uneventful. As a girl, Jane Austen wrote stories, often parodies of sensational romantic fiction. When she turned to writing novels, she spent a great deal of time revising her fiction-more so than any previous novelist. She published only four novels during her lifetime-Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815)-but each is a masterpiece of narrative craftsmanship that took years of revision. Several have been made, again and again, into successful movies. In 1817, her health began to fail, and she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor, but she died within the year. After her death, two other novels were published, and several unfinished novels were found among her papers.

Narrative Form in Pride and Prejudice
In novels such as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen used fictional forms in ways that writers oftoday still follow. While Defoe, Fielding, and Richardson blended dramatic scene with narrative summary, Jane Austen carefully shifted between these two ways of rendering a story. Look, for example, at the opening chapter of Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen begins with exposition as an omniscient narrator, like Fielding in Tom Jones, speaking directly to the reader: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. To Jane Austen's contemporary readers, these first sentences would have been amusing for the high-sounding "truth universally acknowledged" was often invoked throughout the is" century to define rational laws that all people could recognize. The framers of our Constitution, for example, established as one such universal law that all men are entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" (altering the original phrase of the philosopher John Locke-"life, liberty, and property"). But the universal truth Austen

399 mentions is that any single, wealthy young man is fair game for mothers who want to marry off their daughters. After those opening two sentences, however, Austen almost completely disappears as narrator and presents the conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet as a dramatic scene: "My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?" Mr. Bennet replied that he had not. "But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it." Mr. Bennet made no answer. "Do not you want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently. "You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it." This was invitation enough. "Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week." "What is his name?" "Bingley." "Is he married or single?" "Oh! single, my dear, to be sure! A single man oflarge fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!" "How so? how can it affect them?" "My dear Mr. Bennet," replied his wife, "how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them." "Is that his design in settling here?"












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400 "Design! nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes." "I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better; for, as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you the best of the party." "My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be any thing extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty." "In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of." "But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes into the neighbourhood .•• "It is more than I engage for, I assure you." "But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general, you know they visit no new comers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him, if you do not." "You are over-scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying which ever he chuses of the girls; though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy." "I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference." "They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters." "Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves." "You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least." "Ah! you do not know what I suffer."


401 "But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year corne into the neighbourhood." "It will be no use to us if twenty such should corne, since you will not visit them." "Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty I will visit them all." Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develope. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news. Only in this last paragraph of the chapter does Austen return as the omniscient narrator to "tell" us about Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Everything between the first and last paragraphs of the chapter could be a dramatic scene from a play-an extraordinary way of opening a novel by primarily "showing" rather than "telling" her story. In the course of that scene we get exposition=much as we would in a playthrough dialogue. While Defoe, Fielding, and Richardson would have provided this exposition by having their narrator tell us about it, Austen works like a dramatist and has the information corne out through the conversation between the Bennets. In fact, she handles dialogue so deftly that she frequent omits the "tags"-"Mr. Bennet said," "Mrs. Bennet said,"-but we can still follow the conversation between the two. What we learn from Mrs. Bennet is that a wealthy young bachelor named Bingley has just moved into their neighborhood and rented Netherfield, one of its fashionable mansions. Mrs. Bennet is eager to have Bingley meet their daughters, in the hope that he will marry one of them, but social propriety requires Mr. Bennet to first make a call upon Bingley and introduce himself before Mrs. Bennet and her daughters can be introduced to Bingley. The comic conflict in this scene arises from the way Mr. Bennet (who has undoubtedly already heard about the imminent arrival of Bingley) teases his wife by pretending not to understand that Bingley is a good marriage prospect for one of their daughters. He is clearly much cleverer than his wife and takes a somewhat sadistic pleasure in condescending to her. He pretends to worry that if she accompanies her daughters on a visit to meet Bingley, the young bachelor will find Mrs. Bennet more attractive than any of her daughters. She doesn't realize he's twitting her and instead takes his comment as a compliment to her beauty. Mr. Bennet is also sarcastic about his daughters. He considers them all silly girls, except for one, "Lizzy" (Elizabeth), thus making us eager to see this one daughter in the same way Shakespeare has people talk about his main characters, such as Othello, before he brings them on stage. Mr. Bennet frustrates his wife by saying he will not call upon Bingley, but, as we see in the very next chapter, he makes the call without telling her.



"Following the Money" in Pride and Prejudice
As you read Pride and Prejudice, you will come across Austen's many references to the amount of money different characters have. In this scene, we learn from Mrs. Bennet that Bingley has an income of "four or five thousand a year." In middle and upper-class English society of this period, people lived off the interest of their family fortunes, which usually brought in a return of 4% or 5% a year. If Bingley earns 4,000 or 5,000 pounds a year, that means he has a fortune-in the bank--of 100,000 pounds that earns interest. That would indeed make him a man of considerable wealth, and a great "catch" for one of the Bennet daughters. Later in the novel, at the beginning of chapter 7, you will learn that Mr. Bennet has a fortune of 50,000 pounds, so that the annual income for his family is only 2,000 pounds a year. While that might sound like a comfortable if not a sumptuous income, the problem is that when Mr. Bennet dies, that fortune-as well as his house and land-will not go to his wife and daughters. Instead, his fortune, house, and land are "entailed" to go to his closest male relative (whom you will soon meet as the unctuous Mr. Collins). That would leave Mrs. Bennet and her daughters nearly penniless and homeless upon Mr. Bennet's death-s-a pretty dire prospect that helps explain why Mrs. Bennet is so determined to marry off her daughters before Mr. Bennet dies. Later in the novel, Mr. Bennet will admit that he failed, as a husband and father, to put money aside for his family because he thought that eventually he would produce a son who would take care of them. Instead, he and Mrs. Bennet have five daughters. The financial prospects for the five daughters are not utterly hopeless. As you will also soon learn, Mrs. Bennet has a small fortune of 4,000 pounds, which will go to her daughters after her death. But split among five daughters that 4,000 pounds will give each daughter only 800 pounds. Invested at 4% or 5% interest, that would give each daughter an annual income of only 40 pounds a year. While they won't starve on that, they could never live in the same comfortable style they enjoy in their parents' home. Hence, it is understandable that Mrs. Bennet is trying to find wealthy husbands for her daughters.

Scene and Summary in Pride and Prejudice
While Defoe, Fielding, and Richardson blended elements of narrative summary and dramatic scene-telling and showing-Jane Austen usually keeps these two ways of presenting a story distinct, so that in her novels she creates a rhythm of fictional form as she alternates between scene and summary. The first chapter, as we have seen, is devoted, except for it opening and closing paragraphs, exclusively to dramatic scene. Here is another passage from early in the novel, which Austen renders in narrative summary, describing how Mrs. Bennet invited Mr. Bingley to dinner, how he declined because he would be going to "town" (London), but how he in turn invited her daughters to a dance at his mansion:

An invitation to dinner was soon afterwards dispatched; and already had Mrs. Bennet planned the courses that were to do credit to her housekeeping, when an answer arrived which deferred it all. Mr. Bingley was obliged to be in town the following day, and consequently unable to accept the honour of their invitation, &c. Mrs. Bennet was quite disconcerted. She could not imagine what business he could have in town so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire; and she began to fear that he might be always flying about from one place to another, and never settled at Netherfield as he ought to be. Lady Lucas quieted her fears a little by starting the idea of his being gone to London only to get a large party for the ball; and a report soon followed that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a large number of ladies; but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing that, instead of twelve, he had brought only six with him from London, his five sisters and a cousin. And when the party entered the assembly room, it consisted of only five altogether; Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband ofthe oldest, and another young man. Mr. Bingley was good looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention ofthe room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend. Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walking about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and every body hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters. Notice how all of the action is described by the narrator--not presented in dramatic scene. There is much conversation, but none of it is given in quoted dialogue, only in indirect discourse ("The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fme figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley ... ") Why do you think Jane Austen

404 decided to present this part of her novel, which introduces her hero, Darcy, in narrative summary rather than dramatic scene? Perhaps it was economy. In the course of one paragraph, the middle paragraph above, the people at the dance go from admiring Darcy for his looks and wealth to despising him for what they regard as his haughty "pride"all in the space of a few sentences. And how much money does Mr. Darcy have? His annual income is 10,000 pounds a year-double what his friend Bingley earns and five times greater than Mr. Bennet's. To earn 10,000 pound a year, Darcy's fortune would have to be more than 200,000 pounds. Mr. Bennet has a comfortable income; Mr. Bingley is wealthy; Mr. Darcy is the equivalent of a millionaire.

Point of View in Pride and Prejudice
Another of Jane Austen's innovations in fictional form was her use of what we now call the third-person limited point of view. Most narratives before Pride and Prejudice were told from the point of view of a character in the first-person (as in Moll Flanders) or by the storyteller himself or herself as an omniscient narrator (such as Fielding in Tom Jones) who can summarize or dramatize the action, go into the minds of characters to tell us what they are thinking, bring us up to date on what has happened earlier in the story, and even talk directly to us as readers. Presenting fiction from the point of view of a first -person narrator who is a character in the story or an omniscient narrator who knows everything about the characters and the plot are two ways of telling stories that go back to the earliest oral tales and epics. But the third-person limited point of view emerged with the advent of printing. Novelists, and later short story writers, could present portions of their novels or an entire story through the point of view of a character but still keep that character at some distance from the reader by rendering his or her perceptions, thoughts, and feelings in third, rather than first person. Jane Austen frequently presents her story from the point of view of her main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as in this scene, which follows the narrative summary above: Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time, Mr. Darcy had been standing near enough for her to overhear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from the dance for a few minutes to press his friend to join it. "Come, Darcy," said he, "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance."

"I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly
acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this, it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with."

405 "I would not be so fastidious as you are," cried Bingley, "for a kingdom! Upon my honour I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life, as I have this evening; and there are several of them, you see, uncommonly pretty." "You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room," said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet. "Oh! she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you." "Which do you mean?" and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me." Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him. She told the story however with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous. By presenting the conversation between Darcy and Bingley as something overheard by Elizabeth, Austen makes us wonder how she will react to what Bingley says about her sister Jane as well as what Darcy says about Elizabeth herself. At the end of the scene Austen takes us into Elizabeth's mind so that we can see her reaction. It tells us a lot about her character that, while what Darcy says about her hurts her feelings, she not only laughs it off but delights in telling the story to her friends. If one bad piece of advice sometimes given to young writers is "Show, don't tell," then another is "Don't shift point of view.' Austen shifts point of view throughout this novel, usually between her omniscient narrator and the third-person point of view of Elizabeth Bennet. In chapter 6, for example, the omniscient narrator steps in to "tell" us, in narrative summary, something that Elizabeth is completely unaware of. In this passage below, Austen even uses the omniscient point of view to go into Darcy's mind and give us his thoughts: Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley's attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had


406 detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware=to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable no where, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with. He began to wish to know more of her, and as a step towards conversing with her himself, attended to her conversation with others. His doing so drew her notice. Can you see why it would spoil the fun to come if Elizabeth were aware that Darcy was falling in love with her? Can you also see how this passage starts inside Elizabeth's point of view, "occupied in observing Mr. Bingley's attentions to her sister," shifts to the omniscient narrator, who tells us something Elizabeth is "far from suspecting," then in the last sentence, "His doing so drew her notice," shifts back to Elizabeth's third-person limited point of view? Just as a good writer knows when to "show" and when to "tell," Jane Austen knows when to shift point of view. As you read Pride and Prejudice, notice when Austen uses dramatic scene and when she uses na'"rrativesummary, then try to figure out why, as a writer, she made those choices for those particular parts of her story. Also notice what point of view the story is told from at each scene or summary and imagine why Austen decided on that point of view for that passage. Finally, think about one other aspect of fictional form as you read this novel. Although Pride and Prejudice was published in its present form in 1813, Jane Austen's original version, called First impressions, was written between 1796 and 1797. That first version was, like Richardson's Pamela, an epistolary novel. As you read Pride and Prejudice, look for traces of that original epistolary novel, such as a letter reproduced in the text or a scene where someone reads and reacts to a letter from someone else. When you come across such a passage, try to figure out why Austen, after revising that original epistolary novel so thoroughly into a novel rendered in dramatic scene and narrative summary, she decided, as a writer, that certain portions of the original epistolary novel should remain.


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