Shamela Themes

Shamela Themes


The whole novel is based on the idea that what we see is not always the truth. Every character in the book plays a role and has different masks in public and they behave in a certain manner when they try to get something from the other characters. In fact, the novel is based on the idea that everybody lies and hides their true motivations and desires.


In Pamela by Samuel Richardson, chastity is seen as something every girl should have and a requirement is that person wants to have a good reputation in the society. In Shamela, things are different. Chastity is a commodity and virtue is used as a mask to cover flaws and how a person really behaves. What we have in Shamela is hypocrisy manifested by every character and lies that cover who a character really is.


The lies told by the characters in the book all have a common purpose and that is manipulation. Squire Bobby lies to Shamela, and Shamela lies him too in order to manipulate him. What we see in this novel is that lies are commonly used as a form of manipulation and that every character, no matter what he or she likes to tell the others, lie in order to gain something from the others.

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