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张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Writing, Gender, Reader Response in Pamela  

2008-12-08 17:51:38|  分类: +十八世纪英国小 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Zhang, John Zaixin. Notes on Pamela

A psychoanalytical reading on Mr. B (how he overcomes his Oedipus complex) (Update)

Castle, 482

26. B/P: B got hold of a piece of P’s gown outside the room, and P in the room with the key inside (Sexual displacement, Pamela’s sexual confusion?) – a piece of (mother’s) clothing as a fetish (qt. in Castle 482) and B’s Oedipus complex? Treating P as bad girl and good girl  – Lady Davers as mother figure, conflicts with Pamela? – Like P in Castle’s reading, B, too, finally overcomes his psychological confusion about sexuality and treats P as wife? – Mrs. Jewkes’ “bisexual” identity indicates both P and B’s confusion about sexual distinction (Castle on P’s confusion, never touches on B’s)?

Class and Gender

Class

259. B to “defy all the censures of the world, and to make you my wife”

269-70. Lady Davers’s letter to B; “renounce you for ever, if you can descend so meanly” “make her happy in some honest fellow of her own degree”

275. B: “My station will not admit it to be with my servants”; P: “how shall I deserve your goodness to me”

276. “stooping beneath yourself” “by the most cheerful duty, and resigned obedience” (feminine virtue to make up for the “lack” in her social class)

277. housekeeping (domesticity);

“not to add to the disgrace you will have brought upon yourself” (disgrace of marrying her) “as shall be consistent with your honour”; playing cards just to entertain B’s lady friends

277-8. reading for P – “make me worthier of your company and conversation”

284-5. reading letters to determine how to compensate for P’s sufferings (uses the letters as a measurement to determine her reward)

286. P: “entirely the work of your bounty” “from what a lowly original you have raised me to honours”

302. The ladies compliments on P “to lessen the disgrace of his stooping so much beneath himself” – her character makes up for her humble upbringing

311. P’s hypocrisy about father’s poverty: her glory (if so, why so humble about her poor origin as a disgrace to B?)

Gender

(Whose writing? whose perspective? P writes about how she responds to B’s sexuality; P holds the pen, but B provides the material)

112. two keys on Jewkes’ wrist (double role as "warden" Mr. B in his absence and as "prison guard")

113. Jewkes provides pen and ink to write (to divert my grief) – like Crusoe – J has to censor it before being sent out (surrogate for B)

114. pen, cup (ink) – ink invades the female body, paper among her linen – Pen dipped in ink turned into male writing on a sheet of paper (“wrapped up” in her linen) – male inscriptions on female body – key to unlock the mystery of all her writing (kept in the closet) – P may keep the key, but still under the influence of male rule

116. male features of Jewkes

118. B: you write a letter to Jervis, I prescribe the form – he dictates content and form and to whom she writes the letter

120. P’s writing and B’s letter to manipulate Jewkes (although with limited effects)

179. realizes the illusion of gift-giving Moll fails to realize in the beginning

205. forced to go to bed with J and Nan, but holding two keys to chamber-doors (foreshadowing J and B)

211. P undressed in bedroom with B in Nan’s clothes (keys about J’s wrist) – cross-dressing for deception based on disparity between dress and person is actually a game P once played with her own clothes, pretending to be drowned, a trick she played on J – payback time for J)

213. P faints – J urges B to take P (regarding the fainting fit as a fake)

214. faints again when B clasps his arms around her

236. J looking through key-hole – voyeuristic surveillance over P’s letters

246. undress me to untack the letters, revealing the real me (body as letters for B to read)

250. may have exceeded any liberties of her pen (truth? whose truth?)

285. P owes all her happiness (with B) to her parents, for their instructions and examples (institutionalization); 323-4. Williams: P owes everything to her father

274. “a woman shines not forth to the public as man; and the world sees not your excellencies and perfections” (male gaze)

286. B: “you owe nothing to dress” “a much better figure with your own native stock of loveliness”; 301. Lady Darnford: “your person must give, and not take, ornament from any dress”– better than dress and cosmetics, which are still the basis of comparison – a woman’s loveliness or greater loveliness still anchored in dress and jewels (how men would look at a woman)

286. “Surely thy sentiments are superior to those of all thy sex!” – admirable, excellent, and eloquent as she is, she has risen above her own sex and become one of us men, as if only men have those fine sentiments

299. “owing to the light my good master’s favour placed me in” – her beauty shines only as a refection from the light of his generosity

299-300. “I wanted to be out of their gazing” – male gaze (even the ladies also cast a “male” gaze at her, with male expectations, male requirements on a woman); Mrs. Peters: “an honour to our sex”

302. Sir Simon and Mr. Peters: praise her good looks (male gaze)

303. P playing on the piano and sings a song – Miss Darnford: “all the accomplishments of my sex” (to entertain men)

312. letters from father’s hands to B’s

341. father has to return the letters after reading them – B possesses them

(Her writing being both censored and appreciated by both men, as a commodity that changes hands together with P as she is transferred from father to husband, from one phallic figure to another; this male bonding (homosocial economy) transcends class boundaries (the scale of class tilts to one end and is off balance, but added to the other end with the weight of feminine virtue designated to P by male culture shared by both members of the conflicting classes, it tips the scale in her favor, and the scale is in balance now; implying one way to rise above her lower class as a woman is to be virtuous because virtue will be rewarded.)

475-9. 48 rules drawn up by Mr. B

Reader Response

(See Jin Huili's M.A. thesis at BFSU)

Roland Barthes: work – closed; text – open; reader not as consumer but as producer of text

Wolfgang Iser: author and reader co-author the text

4. B wants to read her writing/bosom (body as inscribed)

15. someone stole her letter

19-20. B may steal her other letter

121-2. B intercepts her letters through John

262. in her absence, B to entertain himself with her journal

284-5. reading letters to determine how to compensate for P’s sufferings (B has the power to be condescending to her, and uses the letters as a measurement to determine her reward)

317. B wants her to continue her writing – admire her more and more

373. B as the generous author of her happiness

377. B’s desire to oblige her will last as long as her merit lasts (interactive with her virtue)

57. voyeuristic B peeping through Jervis’s closet at P undressing herself

99. I am watched in all my steps (B as the voyeur, reading and inscribing the female body)

206. P observing B – he was charmingly dressed (character not as good as appearance – reading and inscribing her expectations onto him)

242. B wants to read all P’s letters, partly because of her beautiful writing, partly because of his love for her - B furnishes P with subject – entitled to see the fruits of her pen – interactive writer/reader relationships: B’s liberties with P (as cause) give shape to P’s liberties with B’s character in her writing (as effect) – B as writer/reader: liberties with P as writing for P to read (as cause of P’s writing for B to read) – B as reader of her letters; P as writer/reader: P as reader of B’s character, the writing of which and of herself provides reading material for B as reader

245. strip and search P for her hidden letters – pleasure in reading body as text and text as body

134. her letters as if pregnant (grow large) – P’s letters as body

(P’s writing has influenced B – male gaze, gaze returned, inscribing on his body/text; P’s writing as cause, and B’s changed behavior as effect) – seducer/seduced

166. parents realize B being influenced by P

223. P’s virtue increases B’s passion

239. letters give B a high opinion of P

307. B: P has taken me prisoner (a seducer-turned seduced)

355. her personality could captivate a monarch

360. not so much the victim of your beauty as of your virtue

Writing as a Free Play of Signification

[See my paper, "Free Play in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela.” PLL 27.3 (1991): 307-319.]

6-7. parents call for her return – disrupts writing (silence her voice, reinforce value) – poverty, even death rather than worldly conveniences

16-7. summer-house advances; won’t take the money

18, 33-4. protect her writing from disruption, hesitate to leave B’s home

19-20. B steals her letter

53. Jervis: owe some of your danger to your lovely appearance (new clothes) – hears something in closet, goes on undressing herself (Shamela material)

65-6. clothes should fit the person (B likes rich clothes on her – disparity between clothing and person) – referential function

67. P: the way you treat me does not fit your fine clothes and your station (dress and social status)

80. no writing if home

83. overcome with P’s writing, above her age, above her sex – more like a man

85. won’t take money from B till father knows what becomes of me

99, 240. referential language; 387. P’s charming thoughts to grace her language (secondary language external to primary thought)

125. ambivalence toward writing: writing/speaking

157. watched by bull (frightened and comes back in, an excuse not to escape) (158. two cows)

176/8. clothes in pond (signifier/signified)

181. implies to write her own ballads / stories, so quits the idea of drowning herself (the ending of the novel – the triumph of writing – goal achieved: mobility)

206. B’s heart is not as good as appearance

229. P’s change of attitude to B

248. P has written the truth about B, but “used him very freely in my writings.”

249 impetus to search P for letters comes from her letters (writing as activator of B’s action, which, in turn, provides material for more of P’s writing)

250. her letters – effects on B’s temper both as a “good sign” and a “bad sign” – positively and negatively

252. throwing herself into the pond scene, a mournful story, B moved by it

256. when B finally lets her go, she hates to leave (motive to stick around)

257. bad as P thought B was, but he’s not so bad as Mrs. Jewkes. He is good (P reading B’s character).

255. B not to read more of her letters, in case he is influenced by them

259. B’s paid so dear for the impact of the letters on him; “paid so dear for my curiosity in the affection they have riveted upon me for you”

258-9. B’s proposal letter

260. P overcome by his affection for her; in love with him for some time – because of B’s proposal letter, love silently creeps into P’s heart (on her way to parents) = an escape to be more a prisoner

305. P’s journal (a letter addressed to her mother) about father’s arrival – “how the whole matter was”?

306. P’s writing not reporting but interpreting

310. “How does my honoured mother?” – suggesting absence of mother at the scene; it never crossed her mind that her mother could also come along with her father; father’s arrival scene (mother at home) ← letter to mother (her journal) → scene: father (without mother) arrived (the reality represented by the letter in the journal is predetermined by the letter she is writing to her mother); writing constitutes reality, predetermines it rather than signify it – as if she knew mother was home waiting for her letters which would represent this scene, predetermined by the letter she is writing – the letter not only gives form to the epistolary narrative, but also shapes the scene as reality the letter is supposed to signify and represent. - the letter to Mother precludes questions like "Why didn't mother come with you?" or "Did mother come with you?" - What is represented as past is modelled by the present letter she is writing to her mother.

      Writing extends both forward and backward to shape what is to come and dictate what happened in the past, not just representing what happened in the past.

      P’s writing – intertexuality – writes her own story based on another story – no external referent, but itself a book P is reading and rewriting - Berg: re-creation of a fairy tale

      What has happened in the summer house – a book she is reading to Jervis

251. B reading P’s letters as a moving tale

9. P and J read books alone

19. reading a book – B’s advances to P in the summer house

 

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