Real quick aside about The Room posts: There will not be one this week, again. A super exciting opportunity came up for me that’s going to require time and effort that I won’t be able to put into The Room. So The Room updates may be a little (more) erratic for a while, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to announce the reason why, if things work out.
This week we start Volume 2 of Pamela! [Ariel says: Boy time sure does fly when you’re reading the same events over and over again. I feel like we’ve entered the Twilight Zone with our Monday/Tuesday books lately.]
We’re at the halfway mark, and both of the leads have realized they love each other and they both know it. [Ariel says: Again, just like Entwined with You.] So, according to the rules of the romance genre as we’ve seen in other books on BBGT, it’s time for some contrived reasons to pull them apart again, because we haven’t stretched this story out enough yet. [Ariel says: Well, this is nothing at all like Entwined with You because there’s nothing contrived about hiding your relationship because you’re covering up a murder that no one suspects you of committing now is there? We win this round, Entwined.] [Matthew adds: Yes, Ariel. You hold onto that victory.]
The Master bursts into Pamela’s room before she’s dressed, because nearly-confessing your feelings for each other means you no longer have privacy.
“What, Pamela, so fearful, after what passed yesterday between us!”
The Master lets Mrs. Jewkes and Pamela know that he’s had an invitation to a ball and will have to be out of town for a few days. First estate problems, am I right? He warns Mrs. Jewkes that word on the street is that someone’s trying to get a secret message to Pamela, which of course is said right in front of Pamela, because that makes sense.
And now we reach CONTRIVED REASON #1
“You must know, Pamela, [I] have dismissed Jonathan and Mrs. Jervis, since I have been here; for their behavior has been intolerable” […]
“Alas! Sir,” said I, “I fear all these good people have suffered for my sake!”
“Why,” said he, “I believe so too.”
Pamela – who has suddenly fallen in love with the Master for some unexplained reason – now considers this action and wonders if the Master is actually kind of a douche, which is exactly how she felt for the entire book until she suddenly didn’t one day before. [Ariel says: This is how I feel about Taco Bell, actually. For years and years I resolutely refused to eat there, but then one drunken night I tried it and declared to everyone I loved Taco Bell. But then pretty much the next day I was like, “Wait, this is kind of disgusting…”]
I am very sad about these things: If he really loved me, methinks he should not be so angry that his servants loved me too. I know not what to think!
Sure enough, as soon as the Master is out of town, something incredibly suspicious happens, like, say, a gypsy fortune teller showing up at the gates.
“You will never be married, I can see; and will die of your first child!”
Good thing Pamela knows someone is trying to get a secret message to her, because when they go back to investigate the area later to see if the gypsy is still around, Pamela immediately find a hidden letter. Good work saying, “DON’T LET PAMELA FIND ANY SECRET LETTERS” right in front of Pamela.
The letter reveals what we’ve known all along: CONTRIVED REASON #2
The ‘squire is absolutely determined to ruin you; and, because he despairs, of any other way, he will pretend great love and kindness to you, and that he will marry you. […] He has hired [someone] to impersonate a minister.
Although I guess that should maybe be Reason #1, because, obviously, that’s been the whole fucking book. Pamela starts coming around to her “the Master is a jerk!” view, which seemingly went away twenty pages ago just so she could figure it out again.
Now I will break this wicked forward heart of mine, if it will not be taught to hate him!
Like it did for literally the whole book except for two scenes ago? Time to bring out the “pure woman must save troubled man” trope!
I hoped all the worst was over; and that I had the pleasure of beholding a reclaimed man. […] If this fails him, then comes, to be sure, my forced disgrace! He’s a man with serious, deep emotional flaws, and he’s dragging me into the dark. Can I not guide him into the light?
Oh, wait, sorry, half of that quote was actually from Fifty Shades of Grey. Can you tell which part? [Ariel says: …I think so? Took me a minute, though.]
Pamela tries to recover where she hid a bunch of her old letters and Mrs. Jewkes catches her. Therefore it’s a pretty good time for Pamela to spend a few pages summarizing the entire novel up to this point, because Pamela wasn’t being the same thing over and over again quite literally enough. The Master and Pamela have another lengthy conversation about the letters.
[Ariel says: Can’t get enough Pamela? Try reading Pamela within Pamela! It’s Pamelaception!]
Just repeat “I wanna read them!” and “Please don’t!” for a few hundred words and you got it. And now you understand how I got away with writing a final paper on this book in college even though I only read about a fifth of it.
The Master assures Pamela that, since Pamela didn’t write them intending him to ever read them, she has “no cause for uneasiness” and he’ll understand that. Naturally, the first thing the Master complains to her about are “several love-letters between you and [Mr.] Williams”, because why are we not done with this yet oh my god.
“Thou hast a memory, as I see by your papers, that nothing escapes.”
WRITING PRO TIP: If you acknowledge something completely unbelievable in your book, it will suddenly make sense. [Ariel says: This only works for American Horror Story in that it doesn’t work, but no one gives a fuck because the show is way more fun than Pamela.]
The Master puts two and two together and realizes that, since Pamela has not stopped writing these seriously incriminating letters for some reason, there are totally more and he demands to read them. They argue about this (because it really is just like all all the contemporary books we read on this blog today), and then… uh… this happens…
“It is my opinion they are about you; and I never undressed a girl in my life; but I will now begin to strip my pretty Pamela”
Remember how the Preface stated that Pamela was “to instruct and improve the minds of the youth of both sexes” with its romance?
Pamela immediately goes “OKAY NEVERMIND” and runs away to her closet to get the remaining letters. Which… she is currently writing. Right now.
During this time, Pamela:
- Gives Mrs. Jewkes a note to give to the Master promising to give him the letters in the morning, because she “guessed it would not be long before I heard from him”, since this all literally just happened and Pamela stopped to write a few hundred words about it.
- Unsews the letters from her undercoat, because don’t forget Pamela apparently has dozens of sheets of paper lining her clothing.
- WRITES ANOTHER GODDAMN SUMMARY OF THE STORY THUS FAR. AGAIN.
The next day Pamela gives the Master the letters, which brings us to CONTRIVED REASON #3. The Master suddenly sends Pamela home to her parents (for reals?!?!), having read her new letters. Now confronted with “such proof that her virtue is all her pride”, he decides cannot “rob her of that” (FINALLY). He sends Pamela away with a letter explaining himself:
“I was in far more danger from you, than you were form me; for I was just upon resolving to defy all the censures of the world, and to make you your wife”
Yep. Looks like there’s no solution to this problem.
Pamela has her own emotional torment over the matter:
But love is not a voluntary thing: Love, did I say? But come, I hope not.
NOBODY WRITES LIKE THIS.