This paper examines Samuel Richardson's 1740 novel Pamela through two modern models of adolescent development: moral development (Kohlberg and Turiel) and psychosocial development (Erikson, Marcia, and Luyckx et al.). It argues that the novel's eponymous heroine is a complex character who moves beyond the simple stereotypes, being neither a perfect model of feminine virtue nor a coquette on the prowl for a wealthy catch. By examining the developmental arcs Pamela experiences in the novel, it is possible to read her as a typical teenage girl who achieves virtue through errors and growth rather than a static character whose virtue (or simulacrum of it) maintains a flatline.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Dulong, Angelina, ""I am Pamela, her own self!”: Psychosocial and Moral Development in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8932.
adolescent development, moral development, psychosocial development, Samuel Richardson, Pamela, virtue, psychological realism