Means of Exercising Power in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded


  • Mihaela Culea


physical and psychic conflict, rape, power relations, female/male mystiques, the libertine, the predator, sexual struggle, modalising desire


The article briefly presents an example of literary representations of power by means of sexual bullying. In Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by S. Richardson the conflict between the social classes is symbolically mirrored by way of sexual struggles between male masters and female servants. We trace here a game between the victimizer and the victim where the purpose of the frolicking scenes seems to be merely sexual predation. At a deeper level, the sexual struggle between the protagonists speaks of the more general social pillaging of the poor by the rich in the eighteenth-century England. Finally, we show the way in which the conflict gradually gives way to peaceful cohabitation under the form of an exogamous alliance.


Culea, M. 2007. Eighteenth-Century English Domesticity and the Virtues of Rational Marriage. Cultural Perspectives 12, Bacău: Universitatea din Bacău.

Mullan, J. 1990. Sentiment and Sociability. The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Richardson, S. 2001. Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (ed. Th. Keymer and A. Wakely). Oxford: Oxford UP.

Roberts, D. 1986. Reviews: Terry Eagleton, The Rape of Clarissa. Writing, Sexuality and Class Struggle in Samuel Richardson. Thesis Eleven 15, 140-144, available at http:// [20.11.2007].

Vinsel, A. 1977. Rape: A Review Essay. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 3, available at [20.11.2007]. [Internet]. [10.08.2008].




How to Cite

Culea, M. (2021). Means of Exercising Power in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded . Philologia, 7(1), 151–158. Retrieved from



Kulturne studije/Cultural Studies