Good news: This is our second last week with Pamela! Bad news: After basically nothing happening for the past few weeks in Pamela, the plot suddenly has a completely new thing happening. It is much worse. [Ariel says: Based on the title of this post, it’s just the end of Fifty Shades 4Ever or whatever the last book was called.]
Pamela explicitly states that she’s spending most of her time thanking God for how the book turned out, implicitly saying that there’s literally nothing going on in this book anymore.
I have been taken up pretty much, I hope, as I ought to be, in thankfulness, prayer, and meditation, in my newly-presented closet. And I hope God will be pleased to give a blessing to me.
Maybe God could have given her a bigger room than a closet.
When [we] came near the summer-house, I took the opportunity to slip from him, and just whipped up the steps of this once-frightful place, and kneeled down, and said, I bless thee, O God! For my escapes and for thy mercies!
No, seriously, this has been the whole book for kind of a while now: Pamela constantly going, “I fell in love with the man with kidnapped me and tried to rape me! Thanks, God!”
OR SO WE THOUGHT.
But first, Pamela teases us by saying admitting that there’s nothing more to talk about and signs off the world’s longest letter…
…and then immediately resumes it because she has more to say. That was totally necessary, book. A great many books throughout time have had a “The End!” 92% of the way into the book, and then said, “Just kidding!” and kept going. [Ariel said: This is how I feel after every chapter of Entwined with You every chapter feels like the end and then it’s like OR MAYBE MEGUMI IS MISSING!?!?!?]
Of course, it would be entirely too out-of-character for Pamela to just, you know, start with the new thing that made it necessary to write more, and instead writes another scene that conveys no new information.
[The Master] brought with him some of his old acquaintance, to dine with me. “Are you [upset], Pamela?” said he. I remembered my lessons, and said, “No, sure, sir. I cannot be angry at anything you are pleased to do.”
BREAKING NEWS: The Master is still a controlling dick. And to think the story almost stopped before we could learn this.
This scene that un-ended the story to tell us nothing new continues to tell us nothing new, like:
- The Master’s upper-class friends are pleased with his marriage, even though it’s to the working-class Pamela. Surprise!
- They also all think Pamela is the bomb. Surprise!
- They also think Pamela is a great model of a woman who knows her place. Surprise!
Mr. Arthur was pleased to observe [the] ease and freedom with which I behaved myself, and [served] them, and said he would bring his [wife] to be a witness and learner [of] my manners.
A man wrote this book where female characters exist to learn how to better serve the men in their lives. Surprise!
Okay, so why is this book still going, really?
The Master takes her to a women’s boarding school, and Pamella immediately observes that he’s giving one of the young girls there much more attention than the others. Also, that they’re at a women’s boarding school in the first place, which isn’t exactly subtle.
My master came in, and I had no mistrust in the world, […] but [he] looked more wishfully on Miss Goodwin than on any of the others. But I thought nothing just then. Had she been called Miss Godfrey, I [would have].
The deductive powers of Detective Pamela, folks.
“Do you know this gentleman, my pretty dear.” [I said to Miss Goodwin.]
“Yes, madam,” said she. “It is my own dear uncle.”
I clasped her in my arms. “O, why did you not tell me, sir,” said I, “that you had a niece amongst these little ladies?”
Pamela thinks about this for three seconds.
“How can this be? You have no sister nor brother, but Lady Davers.” […]
He smiled, and then I said, “O, my dearest sir, tell me now the truth. Does not this pretty miss stand in a nearer relation to you, than as a niece? I know she does! I know she does!” And I embraced him as I stood.
Well, it’s a good thing Pamela stayed in character by beating around the bush and writing tons of extraneous details we already knew, because she definitely doesn’t stay in character when she learns that her husband secretly has a child. Surprise! [Ariel says: Oh shit! This isn’t Fifty Shades at all. And probably not Entwined with You either! It would somehow be more of a scandal if this happened in those books. Can you imagine how many holy craps would have come out of Ana’s mouth if she found out Christian had a child with someone else?]
Seriously, though, we’ve had 500 pages of Pamela being the most judgmental and sex-adverse person in the world (which, to be fair, isn’t that strange for 18th century English society), but suddenly when her husband has an illegitimate child he never told her about, she’s super thrilled about it? And if this isn’t strange and out-of-character enough, the Master then goes into the story of the woman whose life he ruined by impregnating her and refusing to marry her, and Pamela is… really cool with it?
“Why, sir,” replied I, “I cannot help being grieved for the poor mother of this sweet babe, [but] I have [this] cause of joy [that] I have had the grace to escape the like unhappiness with this poor gentlewoman.”
“Man, it’s a good thing you knocked up that other unfortunate woman and not me!” -Pamela, literally saying this literally right now
Pamela continues to be unbelievably thrilled that her husband has had a child with another woman and never told her about it.
“This discovery has given me an opportunity to show [my] affection for you, sir, in the love I will always express to this dear child.”
Pamela stops gushing about how awesome her husband’s secret bastard child is long enough for the Master to tell the story of the woman whose life he completely ruined, so Pamela can also gush over that.
“My sister,” [he explained], “knew the whole secret from the beginning, [and] kept it from the knowledge of my father [and] mother. […] This lady was of a good family, [but her mother] encouraged [our] privacies, [even] when she had reason to apprehend [that they were] not so creditable to the lady. [Instead,] she was far from forbidding [these] private meetings [and even used them to try to] frighten [me] into a marriage with the lady.”
The Master goes on to explain how men literally threatened him at swordpoint to marry her and he still got out of it somehow, and then when the child was born, the shame forced her to leave the country forever and flee to Jamaica, which would seem to be a weird thing to brag to your wife about.
“I do assure you, Pamela,” added he, “I am far from making a boast of, or taking a pride in, this affair”
Which is why he’s being all honest and upfront about it. After Pamela married him.
The Master explains that he heard that she happily married in Jamaica, and the Master has set aside enough money for the child where she can still be a proper lady anyway, so that this terrible last-minute subplot isn’t that bad, really! And the whole thing was hardly his fault:
“I believe, if I would have married her, which yet I had not in my head, she would not have [stayed].”
And yet I notice he didn’t actually ask her.
“[I was] spoiled, you know, my dear, by my mother.”
Fuck it! Let’s blame the mom too! Everybody’s at fault for this woman getting knocked up and sent off to a different country but the guy who did it! Even Pamela gets his pain!
“Sir,” said I. “Your generous mind must have been long affected with this melancholy case”
Pamela: Spends the entire novel enraged at a guy who wants to take her “virtue”, then marries him and empathizes with how hard taking some other woman’s “virtue” must have been for him.
Question: So, uh, now that this has happened, how the fuck do you think this book ends?