Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Garden

Garden. Walled garden on the Lincolnshire estate of the young squire Mr. B——, where Pamela Andrews has been reduced to a servant because of her family’s declining fortunes. The squire wants to seduce the virtuous young Pamela, who uses the garden to meet, or correspond with, Mr. Williams, the local clergyman, who loves her. The plot of the story centers on threats to Pamela’s virtue, her successful defense, and the rewards she receives as a result of her steadfastness, just as the biblical story of Adam and Eve centers on the serpent’s efforts to seduce Eve from her innocence. Pamela’s first temptation, like Eve’s, takes place in a garden. The garden of Mr. B——’s Lincolnshire estate becomes a setting that helps chart Pamela’s seeming recoiling from, and eventual seduction of, her master. Eventually, Mr. B——’s love for Pamela overcomes his lust and his pride of caste. They are married by Mr. Williams in the restored chapel on his estate. Pamela’s virtue is rewarded by marriage and by B——’s reform. She now becomes the mistress of his estates in Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire.

To Pamela, the estate’s old-fashioned walled garden at first appears to be a prison, as its high walls serve only to shut her in. Later, however, it also seems to be a refuge, protecting her from external dangers. Similarly, other natural features trace Pamela’s progress from captive to captivator. Ultimately, the...

(The entire section is 459 words.)