Into the labyrinth

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Into the labyrinth the kunstlerroman and psychological realism in Richardson's Pamela and James' The Portrait of a Lady
Thompson, Scott Charles ( author )
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Denver, CO
University of Colorado Denver
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Künstlerromane ( lcsh )
Realism in literature ( lcsh )
Psychology in literature ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


This thesis argues that the movement between philosophical realism and psychological realism occurs in Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady. Specifically, the pond scene in Pamela and the midnight vigil scene in Portrait are key moments in which the authors attempt to recreate the psychological inner workings of their characters' minds. These texts and these scenes create an interior psychological space that is new to the English novel due to the characters' connection to the authors because they are artists. Using Maurice Beebe's theory of the Kunstlerroman, which argues that the artist-character is always the artist-author, the moments of psychological realism are complicated by the author's connection to the character. The connection between artist-author and artist-character allows for a new examination of the rhetoric of psychological realism in direct relation to the mind of the author. Arguing that these two novels are, in fact, members of the Kunstlerroman sub-genre, and examining these two scenes in particular, provides insight into the English novel's understanding of interior mental spaces - both in the literary development of character and also in the authors' conception of self.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colorado Denver. English
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by Scott Charles Thompson.

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INTO THE LABYRINTH: THE K†NSTLERROMAN AND PSYCHOLOGICAL REALISM IN RICHARDSON'S PAMELA AND JAMES' THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY by SCOTT CHARLES THOMPSON B.A., Hood College, 2012 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts English 2015




ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Scott Charles Thompson has been approved for the Department of English By Bradford Mudge, Chair Nancy Ciccone Gillian Silverman April 23 2015


iii Thompson, Scott Charles (M.A., English) Into the Labyrinth: The KŸnstlerroman and Psychological Realism in Richardson's Pamela and James' The Portrait of a Lady Thesis directed by Professor Bradford Mudge ABSTRACT This thesis argues that the movement between philosophical realism and psychological realism occurs in Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady Specifically, the pond scene in Pamela and the midnight vigil scene in Portrait are k ey moments in which the authors attempt to recreate the psychological inner workings of their characters' minds. These texts and these scenes create an interior psychological space that is new to the English novel due to the characters' connection to the a uthor s because they are artists. Using Maurice Beebe's theory of the KŸnstlerroman which argues that the artist character is always the artist author, the moments of psychological realism are complicated by the author 's connection to the character The co nn ection between artist author and artist character allows for a new examination of the rheto ric of psychological realism in direct relation to the mind of the author. Arguing that these two novels are, in fact, members of the KŸnstlerroman sub genre, and examining these two scenes in particular provides insight into the English novel's understanding of interior mental spaces both in the literary development of character and also in the authors' conception of self The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication Approved: Bradford Mudge


iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I want to thank the University of Colorado, Denver's English Department for allowing me the opportunity and the support to complete this thesis. I would like to thank, in particular, Brad Mudge for always being willing to support both the physical and spir itual process es of research and writing. His continual engagement with the concepts of this argument allowed it to come to fruition. I would also like to thank my parents for continually supporting my academic endeavors, even as differ ent as they are fr om their own. Many thanks also goes out to J.J. Clark and Selena Dickey whose encouragement and constructive feedback pushed me to tackle this project in the best way possible. Finally, I would like to thank my fiancÂŽe, Emily, for being my sounding board a nd support through the entire process.


v TABLE OF CONTENTS FROM PHILOSOPHICAL REALISM TO PSYCHOLOGICAL REALISM ................... 1 CHAPTER I. SAMUEL RICHARDSON'S PAMELA : THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ARTIST ............... 9 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 Richardson's Novel Writing Techniques ................................ ................................ ...... 11 Pamela as Artist ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 16 Epistolary as a Psychological Portrait ................................ ................................ ........... 19 The Traditional Letter ................................ ................................ ............................... 22 The Stream of Consciousness Letter ................................ ................................ ......... 23 The Internal/External Letter ................................ ................................ ...................... 26 The Reflective Journal ................................ ................................ .............................. 27 The Pond Scene ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 29 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 34 II. HENRY JAMES' REALISM: THE INNER LABYRINTH ................................ ....... 37 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 37 James' Philosophy of Writing ................................ ................................ ....................... 38 Isabel as Artist ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 43 Chapter Forty Two: Into the Labyrinth ................................ ................................ ........ 50 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 56


vi THE INDIVIDUAL SUBJECT IN THE NOVEL ................................ ............................ 59 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 62


1 INTRODUCTION FROM P HILOSOPHICAL REALISM TO PSYCHOLOGICAL REALISM Ian Watt, in his The Rise of the Novel first published in 1957 connects the changes in philosophy and science to the emergence of the 18 th century novel as a primary form of literary art, connecting philosophical realism to literary realism Classical realism posi ted that "truth" existed beyond the sense s perception in the form of universals (Platonic Idealism). I n the 17 th century, e mpirical observation and philosophical realism dominated science and philosophy, respectively. The m odern conception of realism "beg ins from the position that truth can be discovered by th e individual through his senses, 1 which is the subject of Descartes' Meditations of First Philosophy (1641 ). The emergence of the novel, for Watt, is directly related to these changes in science and philosophy. The novel functions as an exploration of individual exper ience, which is analogous to scientific and philosophic changes. As novel scholar Alan McKillop notes, "There is a connection or parallel here [ between the development of the novel] with English empirical philosophy, with its emphasis on the primary value of immediate experience from one conscious moment to another." 2 The novel creates a literary space in which a dispassionate and scientific scrutiny of life can be attempt ed focusing on the individual's experience of the world "The novel," Watt tells us, "is the 1 Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding (Los Angeles: U of California Press, 1964), 12. 2 Alan D. McKillop, "Samuel Richardson: Pamela '" in Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler (New Je rsey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969), 27.


2 form of literature which most fully reflects this individualist and innovating reorientation." 3 As science and philosophy began to move from idealism to realism, the novel's development paralleled the movement. The novel's key characteristics "particularize" plot, characters, and time, which make it unique for its ability to examine the immediate human experience in literary format. The novel as developed in England in the late 17 th century to the mid 18 th century, is unique as a literary form in several ways. Watt categorizes the ways the novel differs from its literary predecessors. First, the novel breaks away from the tradition of drawing story and plot fr om history, myth, and other works of literature. The novel's plots are drawn from original stories: the plots are "acted out by particular people in particular circumstances, rather than, as had been common in the past, by general human types against a bac kground primarily determined by the appropriate literary conventions." 4 Second, the novel focuses on individuals more than "human types." The indivi dualization of characters, by giving the characters proper names was first done in the novel. For example, Bunyan's characters in The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) are all named according to the type of character they embody, such as Christian and Mr. Worldly Wiseman; however, in the novel, characters are given proper names that do not correspond to their characteristics, such as the use of the name Tom Jones in Fielding's Tom Jones (1749). Third, the novel's use of time is uniqu e. In the words of Watt : "The novel's plot is also distinguish ed from most previous fiction by its use of past experience as the cause of present action: a causal connection operating through time replaces the reliance of earlier narratives on disguises and coincidences, and this tends to give the 3 Watt, Rise of the Novel 13. 4 Ibid., 15.


3 novel a much more c ohesive structure." 5 Instead of general "types" acting out traditional plots in recognizable backdrops, the novel creates a space for particular people to act out their par ticular situations. T he novel utilizes these new techniques to produce an authentic account of an individual's actual experien ce : literary realism. L iterary realism is a defining chara cteristic of the novel. "R ealism" in art was initially connected with depictions of low life," non aristocratic characters often indulging in vices. In re lation to the novel, Watt argues the term is better understood as an attempt to "portray all the varieties of human experience, and not merely those suited to one particular literary perspective: the novel's realism does not reside in the kind of life it p resents, but in the way it presents it." 6 The novel's length and use of prose allows for unique development of character in relation to the reader. Because r ealistic particularity express es itself in narrative through the individualization of its character s, the presentation of background, and the detailed presentation of their environment 7 the reader's experience is mirrored in the character's experience. Therefore, as the novel developed, the development of characters who were more complex and who shared the average reader's experiences and understanding of life became one of the most important features of the genre. Authors began to experiment with the wa y that char acters are expressed in writing: t hey experimented with developments such as characters' physical description, moral ity history and psychology. A s an extended work of prose, the novel allows for a unique t ype of examination of the way authors express, in writing, the way the mind operates. The umbrella literary 5 Watt, Rise of the Novel 22. 6 Ibid., 11. 7 Ibid., 17.


4 term for this is "psychological realism." But psychological realism is naturally tied to the concept of realism in art, which is complicated. Realism is complicated because the act of a estheticizing inherently robs the object of something. Aestheticizing anything a story, a moment, a concept, a person requires the artist to make choices (though this concept applies across artistic mediums, the focus of my discussion is literary art). Choices like what details to provide, how to describe someone, or what word to use, create a work of art that is not an accurate representation of something external to the artist; rather, it is a work of art that reflects the artist's perception of the e xternal object Therefore, even when artists are consciously attempting to portray something as "real," they are not. However, this does not mean that there is no merit in studying the concept of realism in literature. Critically exam ining the choices an a uthor make s while consciously attempting to portray an external reality reveals a great deal about the author, the social context, the reader, the concept of art, and the object itself. Moreover, an author's depiction of the psychological processes of his character reveals a lot about how the author and the author's contemporary society understands the concept of self. Maurice Beebe argues that the KŸnstlerroman genre officially began in the 18 th century In his monograph studying the genre, Beebe begins his examination of the tradition of the artist novel with Samuel Johnson's Rasselas (1759) Beebe claims that the artist novel tradition begins here because it is in the 18 th century that "art as a self sufficient profession" emerg ed, moving away from the patron supported artist 8 In tandem with the emergence of writing as a self sufficient profession was the increase in literacy. Because more people could read, and because there were more options for 8 Maurice Beebe, Ivory Towers and Sacred Founts: The Artist as Hero in Fiction from Goethe to Joyce (New York: New York UP, 1964), 23.


5 reading, distinguishing between mas s culture and high culture became increasingly important : art was divided into "popular" and "pure" categories. A rtists were categorized and classified, increasing the pu blic's cu riosity with the "pure" artists. This distinction created an audience for th e artist novel because readers were increasingly interested in what made an artist "pure" as opposed to "popular." The artist as hero genre emerged, then, out of the desires of the reading audience to know more about the storyteller, the "pure" artist. Be ebe argues that the artist novel genre consists of three main themes: the divided self, the ivory tower, and the sacred fount. The divided self is the idea that the artist is separate from the human as a divided being. The hu man has a family, a history an d an impending death; the artist lives for the creation of art alone an d lives on through his artistic creations The ivory tower, in Beebe's words, "exalts art above life and insists that the artist can make use of life only if he stands aloof 9 This theory assumes that a well made work of art is superior to the real world ; the artist can only fully understand life and create art by establishing critical distan ce between himself and the rest of the world The sacred fount equates art with experience a nd "assumes that the true artist is one who lives not less, but more fully and intensely than others 10 This theory assumes that art is the recreation of life; it assumes that the artist's experiences are more intense than non artists and that the artist i s hyper aware of these experiences, which increases the artist's ability to understand and recreate "life" in literature. In summary Beebe sums up the artist hero as, "the Divided Self of the artist man wavering between the Ivory Tower and the Sacred 9 Beebe, Ivory Towers 13. 10 Ibid., 13.


6 Foun t, between the holy' or esthetic demands of his mission as artist and his natural desire as a human being to participate in the life around him 11 The most important aspect of Beebe's discussion, however, lies in his connection between the artist characte r and the artist author. His argument is based on the assumption that "the archetypal artist found in portrait of the artist fiction is a more valid representation of the novelist type than of any other kind of writer." 12 He writes: "If [ literary artists an d critics] keep in mind the fact that though the hero of an artist novel may be a sculptor or a composer, as a self portrait of his creator he is always a writer, it is apparent that the artist' established in fiction is always a literary man." 13 Beebe's t heory is tha t every artist character in a literary work is, inherently, a self portrait of the literary author. Because the author is by trade an artist, the moments that the author creates in the text that deal with aspects of the creative/artistic proces s are informed and influenced by his own experience s as an artist. Novelists Samuel Richardson and Henry James both experimented with the presentation of their characters' psychology. A century before Richardson, Descartes turned the focus of philosophy f rom external actions to internal actions; he focused on and wrote about the logic of the mind. Richardson did the same thing for literature that Descartes did for philosophy: he turned the focus from external actions and plot to internal actions and though ts. Richardson's literary endeavors were driven by many different desires. From his desire to improve his audience to his yearning for recognition, his genius was driven by a single theme that interested him late in life: the conduct of 11 Beebe, Ivory Towers 18. 12 Ibid., vi. 13 Ibid., v.


7 young women. He foc used on internal actions, thoughts, and reactions because his goal was to create character s that seemed realistic H e believed that the more real his character s appeared the more his audie nce would be influenced by the character s' actions. To this end, he util ized the epistolary style to give his writing the appearance of reality Richardson experimented with letter writing as a way of creating a psychologically complex character. Henry James' Portrait of a Lady first published as a full work in 1881, is c onsidered by Jamesian scholars to be the transitioning novel from James' early period to his middle period. In this transitory phase, James was experimenting with character development. The novel, he tells us, is completely crafted around the character of Isabel. 14 James consciously utilizes techniques from portraiture to experiment with how he creates and depicts the character of Isabel. His experimentation results in a psychol ogically complex character, similar to Pamela. Samuel Richardson's Pamela and He nry James' The Portrait of a Lady both contribute to the development of psychological realism in the novel. Richardson's use of the epistolary form and James' borrowing of techniques from portraiture contribute to the experimental nature of their creation of interior mental space in the characters Additionally, both writers create a story about an artist's development, a KŸnstlerroman The connection between the artist author and the artist character further complicates the psychological realism in the nov els. An examination of the pond scene in Pamela and Isabel's midnight vigil in Portrait paired with the KŸnstlerroman theory, allows for a new understanding of the development of psychological realism in the novel. 14 Henry James, The Art of the Novel: Critical Prefaces (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948), 57.


8 In this thesis, I argue that reading Ri chardson's Pamela and James' Portrait of a Lady as participants of the KŸnstlerroman genre provide s a unique venue in which to examine the rhetoric of psychological realism in the English novel. The KŸnstlerroman genre tells the story of an artist's development towards artistic maturity. The theory is that in this genre, the artist character is always a self portrait of the artist author. This is the fundamental theoretical basis for my reading of Richardson and J ames. Neither of their texts are traditionally read as artist as hero novels. Therefore, my argument becomes two fold. First, I will prove that their characters are artists. Second, I will examine the psychological realism of the se texts in relation to the author. The following chapters attempt to understand the rhetoric and purpose of psychological realism in the novel genre by approaching the texts as KŸnstlerroman novels. By reading the texts as members of this subgenre, the psychological realism is comp licated by the interplay between the audience, the characters, and the authors, which allows for an examination of the development of psychological realism in relation to the author's understanding of self.


9 CHAPTER I SAMUEL RICHARDSON'S PAMELA : THE PSYCHOLOGICAL A RTIST Introduction "Pause here a little, Pamela on what thou art about, before thou takest the dreadful Lea p; and consider whether there be no Way yet left, no Hope, if not to escape from this wicked House, yet from the Mischiefs threatened thee in it." 15 This musing by Richardson's character Pamela is the beginning of two full pages of internal reflection as she sits by the pond contemplating suicide as her escape from imprisonment by Mr. B. This scene is significant to the plot of the novel because the reading of this specific portion of Pamela's journal catalyzes Mr. B.'s transformation from lustful rake to v irtuous husband, which is t he mos t important character arc in the story. More significantly, this scene is key to the development of psy chological realism in the novel It is a critical moment in the formation of the KŸnstlerroman genre in which the minds of the artist character and artis t author can be examined in relation to the development of individual subjectivity Samuel Richards on (1689 1761) laid the foundation for the psychological novel as we conceive of it today His three major works Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded Clarissa, o r, The History of a Young Lady and The History of Sir Charles Grandison are key novels in the history of this sub genre. Sp ecifically, Pamela attempts to explore the way that the moral inner life can be expressed in writing. I will argue that what makes Richardson's experimentation with psychological realism successful is the connection 15 Samuel Richardson, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (New York: Oxford UP, 2001), 3, 172. The whole scene extends from 172 174.


10 between the character, Pamela, and the author, Richardson. This connection is the creation of Pamela as an artist. The literary sub genre KŸnstlerroman is defined as a st ory about the development of an artist. The main characteristic of the KŸnstlerroman genre, according to Maurice Beebe, leading critic on the genre, is that the artist in the text is a literary representation of the a uthor of the text. This connection bet ween artist character and artist author, adds a new dimension to psychological realism because the author is not only attempting to depict the internal reflections of the mind but is also, invariably, depic ting the inner workings of his own mind. Pamela has traditionally been read as many things: a guide to moral instruction, a critique of class and marriage, a tasteless depiction of licentiousness. In the last century, however, scholars have begun to read Pamela as a complex study in psychology, due to Richardson's focus on the mental processes of Pamela. While the text has been discussed by scholars in terms of its psychological realism, it has not been critically examined as a KŸnstlerroman novel. The KŸnstlerroman genre is inherently a work of psychol ogical realism because it examines the mind of the author as well as the mind of the character. In addition to the psychological processes of imagined ch aracters, this subgenre is complicated by the psychological processes of the author This is important because, by approaching the text as a KŸnstlerroman the reading of the psychology becomes multi layered. This recategorization of Pamela provides a new route through which to trace the development of complex presentations of psychological realism in liter ature. In this chapter, I will examine Richardson's purposes and techniques of writing; the main current of criticism on Richardson; psychological realism in Pamela ; the creation of Pamela as an artist; and the specific techniques that Richardson uses in t he text to create a


11 unique psychological rendering of the moral inner life. Richardson's Novel Writing Techniques At the time of Richardson's writing, the novel, as we no w understand it, was a new genre Therefore, understanding what Richardson believed a novel should be is essential to understanding the importance of his contributions to the genre as a whole. In all of his novels Richardson writes didactic ally, and in his essays and critical writings, he writes pervasively about his belief that fiction 's end goal should be moral improvement presented through a medium that interests and entertains. To do this, Richardson utilizes familiar letter writing in an attempt to invest his audience emotionally in his characte rs and their situations. It is this epistolary s tyle that Richardson believed could capture a moment in time in a different way than mere narration could. Richardson crafted his novels to didactic ends. Donald Ball, in his monograph Samuel Richardson's Theory of Fiction sums up Richardson 's purpose in writing fiction: to "provide both instruction and entertainment," especially to the youth. 16 Moreover, Richardson is clear about the didactic intent of his fiction. In a letter to Lady Bradshaigh in 1753, Richardson states "that such moral ins tructions and warnings constituted the very motive with me, of the story's being written at all.'" 17 Yet, his approach to Horace's classic concept dulce et utile differs in its focus; rather than focusing solely on external actions, he turns his attention to internal actions. "Richardson's chief purpose," Elizabeth Brophy writes in her examination Richardson's theory of craft, "in the design of his novels was to show the virtues of his exemplary characters by indicating how they 16 Donald Ball, Samuel Richardson's Theory of Fiction (Paris: Mouton &Co. N.V., 1971), 42 43. 17 Ball, Theory of Fiction 43.


12 respond to testing by the tr ials of existence." 18 To give his characters the naturalness' he desired, his focus was constantly on their psychological development as well as their external reactions to their situations. Richardson utilizes familiar letter writing in an attempt to in vest his audience emotionally in his characters and their situations. Through the epistolary style, Richardson believed that he could capture a moment in time in a different way than mere nar ration could: as he states in the p reface to Clarissa, "the lette rs on both sides are written while the hearts of the writers must be supposed to be wholly engaged in their subjects." 19 Assuming that the letter writers are writing near the occu rrence of the incident, their ac counts are intended to be more accurate and mo ving. The epistolary form allows readers to become emotionally invested in the characters and their situations. Richardson's use of the epistolary style contributes significantly to this type of realism: letter writing allows for direct access into a character's mind. Through this form, the reader becomes invested; once invested, Richardson's didactic goals are dri ven by and focused on the development of character rather than action Richardson was interested in character development more than plot development. The novel form inherently allows for an organic development of character and plot. Rather than progres sing the plot through major scene to major scene, the novel, through its length and prose style, allows character s to demonstrate their character arc through their thoughts and actions. Since Richardson believed that the best way to entice the readers to q uestion and examine their own moral actions was by creating characters that 18 Elizabeth Brophy, Samuel Richardson: The Triumph of Craft (Knoxville, TN: U of Tennessee Press, 1974) 26. 19 Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, or, The History of a Young Lady (New York: Penguin Books, 2004), 35.


13 seemed real, his focus in writing was always the psychological actions and reactions of his characters. To give the characters the f aade of reality, he demonstrated how the y handl ed themselves through "trials of existence." 20 For example, Pamela begins with the news of the death of Pamela's employer, Mr. B.'s mother. However, the focus is not on the event of her death; rather, the plot is focused on Pamela's reaction to the incident In summary, Richardson consciously crafted the genre of the novel to his own ends : his focus was always on the moral improvement of his audience by focusing on the psychological development of his characters His main technique was the epistolary form in which he could more fully develop his characters in order to depict the way people think and act in the "real" world. Over the years, however, critics have debated to what degree, if any, he was successful. At the time, Richardson was highly read and muc h discussed. The terms "Pamelist" and "Anti Pamelis t" have been introduced into the vocabulary of literary critics to describe the strong reactions that readers had to Richardson's first attempt at fiction. Richardson attempted to create a realistic depict ion of a "virtuous" woman, which was greeted both positively and negatively. Some thought that he succeeded in portraying a "real" woman while others argued that a middle aged man could not accurately recreate the female experience. The readership that rea cted positively enjoyed the novel and praised its compelling and realistic storyline; the readership that reacted negatively to the novel condemned its licentiousness and Richardson's overt moralism Critics and scholars, both then and now have discussed Richardson as a moralist. Richardson, before the movement in the mid 20 th century to reexamine his place in the 20 Richardson, Clarissa 26.


14 linage of the English novel, was studied as a mere moralist and sentimentalist, while author s who came after Richardson, such a s Fielding were studied as realist s 21 Richardson's moralist tendencies have often caused his works to be dismissed as simple and agenda driven. It was not until post World War II scholars such as Watt, McKillop, and others began to reevaluate Richardson' s contribution to the realist novel genre that Richardson's merit as an author worth close examination has been restored. However as Rosemary Cowler in the conclusion to her introduction to a compilation of 20 th century essays on Pamela points out, as mo re time is put between Richardson's era and our own, scholars have begun to reread, reinterpret, and reevaluate the novels' legitimate value for English literature. 22 Cowler writes, "it is only as Pamela 's historical i mportance (i ts interest as the origina l' novel and as a proving ground for Clarissa ) becomes secondary, that its more relevant psychological and artistic significance is being recognized by discerning readers." 23 Instead of limiting Richardson as a mere moralistic writer, the last century h as s een critics beginning to examine his novels as works literary art independent of Richardson's original intentions. Specifically, t his critical revisiting of Richardson has begun to see him as a forerunner in the development of the sub genre of psychologic al realism. To understand my argument of Richardson and the development of psychological realism better a discussion of critic A.M. Kearney's article on Pamela will be useful. Kearney's article written in 1966, attempts to discuss the artistic achievement of 21 Rosemary Cowler, "Introduction" in Tw entieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969), 1 2. 22 Cowler, "Introduction," 1 13. 23 Ibid., 12 13.


15 Richardson by divorcing the sweeping critical over simplification of Richardson that has long prevailed. To this end, Kearney separates Pamela into two major voices: Pamela the character and Richardson the a uthor. "Corresponding with this double role," Kearney writes, we have in effect two voices: the first [Pamela] manifesting itself in a direct and spontaneous manner, coming from the centre of experience itself, and the second [Richardson] a much more del iberate one, suggesting the impressions of the observer rather than the participant." 24 This distinction between two "voices" in the text is important. It is important because it draws attention to the two different styles of writing that occur within Pamel a's st ory. It is clear that one distinct voice belongs to Pamela in that most of the novel is her recounting her experien ces as they happen. However, Kearney identifies the second voice as Richardson's authori tative interpretation of events. Kearney reads this as a failure on Richardson's part because he cannot resist interpreting the scene for the audience: "He [Richardson] was prepared to stick to a psychological realism only so far, and his main concern was to impose a deliberate an d literary commentary upon the raw event' and, as a result, control it." 25 My interpretation is that rather than a mere failure of literary craft Richardson can be seen in these moments of Pamela's internal reflections to be experimenting with a new type of psychological real ism. I argue that Richardson crafts the second voice the "deliberate one, suggesting the impressions of the observer rather than the participant" to be Pamela also, in that it comes from her mouth and reflects upon her experiences. He is attempting to cr eate a realism that demonstrates internal moral life, which is distinctly different than just 24 A. M. Kearney, "Ricardson's Pamela : The Aesthetic Case" in Twent ieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969), 79. 25 Kearney, "Aesthetic Case," 81.


16 writing down wh at one thinks at a given time. To best do this, he focuses on developing his characters' inner lives through the epistolary form. However, his at tempts at psychological realism are complicated by another factor in his fiction: the fact that his characters are, like himself, literary artists. Pamela as Artist Samuel Richar dson in many ways, fits very neatly into the literary tradition of the KŸnst lerroman despite the fact that Beebe does not c lassify him as an author of an "artist as hero" novel. Beebe might not classify Richardson as a KŸnstlerroman author because Richardson's works do not neatly adhere to the genre conventions as Beebe understands them: most importantly, perhaps, is the fact that Richardson was considered a "popular" writer as the time, a s opposed to a "pure" artist Additionally, Beebe does not mention Richardson in his monograph most probably because Richards on and his work lack one of the major tropes of the genre, the artistic temperament: Pamela is an author and artist, but she does not, at least not overtly, demonstrate the artistic temperament of isolation from the world or egotism. N either Richardson nor Pamela are the image of the romantic artist struggling between the isolated world of artistic creation and human exper ience. However, despite characters lacking the "artistic temperament," Richardson's novels, specifically Pamela do include many of the b asic characteristics of the artist as hero novel: he was writing during the general time period that Beebe argues the genre began to emerge; he was, due to his printing press business, a monetarily self sufficient artist; and most importantly, his charact er Pamela is a writer, an artist and the hero In the character of Pamela, Richardson creates the figure of an artist. Her special talent is writing. Beyond simple letter writing and journaling, Pamela is crafted to be an


17 expert storyteller and inventor: almost the entire novel is written from her perspective. This directly connects Pamela with Richardson, who is also a storyteller and inventor. The other characters, especially Mr. B., pervasively comment on Pamela's skills of invention. As early as Letter XIV Mr. B. states that Pamela writes about him and his family "purely for an exercise to her pen and her invention" and then says she is "a subtle artful Gypsey." 26 At other times Mr. B. directly refers to himself as a character in Pamela's story, calls P amela a great "Plotter," and describes her writing as an "easy and happy Manner of Narration 27 He goes as far as to categorize her writing as having the "pretty Air of Romance 28 Even Mrs. Jewkes acknowledges Pamela as a "great Writer 29 I t is significant that the other characters view Pamela as a creator of stories as opposed to a recorder of actual events. These references make evident Richardson's preoccupation with Pamela and the artistic process. The reader of the novel is then also made aware that, w hile the story is written as "truth," Pamela's accounts employ many literary techniques. In addition to the other characters in the novel noticing and commenting on Pamela's literary ability, Pamela herself is also aware of her artistic process. Critics h ave often noted Pamela's statement that her story "surely would furnish out a surprizing kind of Novel, if it was to be well told 30 This is a conscious nod from Pamela, as well as from Richardson, to her story as an artifice of literature. Moreover, Pamel a is well read and writes poetry on three different occasions. Twice in the story she consciously gives 26 Richardson, Pamela 29. 27 Ibid., 210, 228, 300. 28 Ibid., 232. 29 Ibid., 228. 30 Ibid., 246.


18 descriptions of other characters. For Mrs. Jewkes, she writes, "Now I will give you a Picture of this Wretch! She is a broad, squat, pursy, fat Thing, q uite ugly, if any thing God made can be ugly; about forty Years old 31 For Colbrand, she writes, "I will describe him to you," followed by a description of his physique 32 In both of these examples, Pamela is extremely aware of the necessity of character de scription for her story, a common literary device. But Pamela's greatest thoughts on writing come in the form of a metaphor planted in the text by Richardson. While she is captive by Mr. B. in his country home, she hides her writing under a sunflower 33 The metaphor, then, is of writing as a garden: Pamela continuously writes and rewrites her experiences, cultivating her art as one would a plant or garden. Pamela's consciousness of herself as artist is import ant because it is the theoretical entry point int o the genre of artist as hero to be discussed as an author of an "artist as hero" novel, all one has to do is write a novel with an artist as the hero. And since Pamela is, in the broadest definition, artist hero of the novel, Richardson is also the auth or of an artist as hero novel. According to Beebe, all literary characters that are artists are self portraits of the author. Beebe states: "If we keep in mind the fact that though the hero of an artist novel may be a sculptor or a composer, as a self po rtrait of his creator he is always a writer, it is apparent that the artist' established in fiction is always a literary man 34 Using this theoretical lens, a connection is made between Richardson, as author artist, and Pamela, as character artist. If this is true, few scholars have recognized the connection between Richardson and Pamela. Instead, Pamela's letter writing artistry has been mostly 31 Richardson, Pamela 114. 32 Ibid., 166 167. 33 Ibid., 133. 34 Beebe, Ivory Towers v.


19 examined in terms of Richardson's moralistic and didactic intentions. By only examining Pamela's artistry i n this way, scholars miss an opportunity to examine the development of psychological realism in the novel. Therefore, a reexamination of Pamela is necessary. The reexamination must take into account Richardson's use of the epistolary style and the artisti c and psychological connections between Richardson and Pamela. Epistolary as a Psychological Portrait Richardson is extremely interested in the relationship between the mind and the body; his goal in the novel is to express not only the actions of a vi rtuous person the outer interactions between a person and their environment but also the inner thoughts that influence those actions the motives and reasonings underlining the external expressions. To this end, Richardson experiments with several dif ferent techniques to demonstrate the inner workings on the mind. He does this by having Pamela write in both epistolary and journalistic form and by experimenting with the presentation of her inner thoughts. Pamela the character grows as an author over the course of the text. She begins as a letter writer and ends as a confident and creative artist which is evident through her experimentation with the writing process. Richardson the writer grows as an author alongside Pamela the character and Pamela the te xt. He begins as a letter writer and ends as a confident and creative artist which is evident through his experimentation with the presentation of Pamela's interior mental space Both of their artistic arcs are evident through their experimentation with t he written presentation of the inner life. Richardson attempts to give the reader access to Pamela's inner life through literary techniques. As the novel progresses, both Richardson's and Pamela's experimentations become increasingly sig nificant. Richardso n begins by presenting Pamela's inner thoughts; then


20 he presents her inner thoughts juxtaposed to her external actions; and then he begins to use writing as a means of internal reflection. In this section I will first discuss his syntactic al and grammatic al construction and then will analyze specific scenes. Through his longer work of prose fiction, Richardson experiments with literary techniques through which he demonstrates his characters' psychological development. "Richardson's chief purpose," Elizabe th Brophy writes in her examination Richardson's theory of literary craft, "in the design of his novels was to show the virtues of his exemplary characters by indicating how they respond to testing by the trials of existence." 35 To give his characters the "naturalness" he desires, his focus is constantly on their psychological development as well as their external reactions to their situations. Moreover, Richardson's moral doctrine is intimately tied to the tricky concept of realism. Richardson believes tha t reality is the best tea cher of moral principles. He wants his audience to view his fictional characters as real people so that the audience can relate to the moral examples being illustrated in the text. I argue that this desire to maintain a sense of re ality leads Richardson to experiment with new writing techniques: his overarching purpose of conveying moral principles through illustrations leads him to attempt to portray the psychological inner workings of the mind in a way that had never been done bef ore in the English novel In Pamela, the "editor" of Pamela's story bookends the novel with direct statements on the text's desire to improve the audience morally In the preface of Pamela he states the novel's purpose is to "instruct, and improve the minds of the youth of both sexes"; in the postscript he concludes with "a few brief observations, which naturally 35 Brophy, Triumph of Craft 26.


21 result from it [the story]; and which will serve as so many applications, of its most material incidents, to the minds of the youth of both se xes." 36 In both of these statements, Richardson focuses on the affect of the text on the mind of the audience. Rather than mere emulation of Pamela's external actions, his focus suggests a desire for the audience to emulate Pamela's internal actions her i nner, mental life. For Richardson, virtue begins in the pure mind and expresses itself through action s and deeds. In order to make this distinction clear, he crafts a novel that narrates external, virtuous actions while attempting to demonstrate the inner, mental life of a virtuous young girl. Richardson uses the epistolary style to further both the plot and his characters' inner lives. The inner life is effectively developed in the letter writing genre because private letters are inherently designed to co mmunicate one's inner thoughts directly to the reader of the letter. Additionally, the immediacy in which Pamela writes the letters adds another layer of realism. Without time to reflect critically on her situations, the letters become a vehicle for writin g the way the mind works in a particular moment. Richardson uses the private letter as a way to create a portrait of Pamela in writing. A painter's portrait creates an image of a person for the audience to examine and contemplate. A writer's psychological portrait attempts to create an image of a person's inner character through descriptive writing. The plot points are furthered throug h Pamela's recount of the events in the letters, but more importantly, her character's inner life is developed and demonstra ted through her immediate reactions to her situations. The nature of the epistolary form creates a space, through letter writing and journaling, in which Pamela can express her internal thoughts. 36 Richardson, Pamela, 3, 500.


22 The Traditional Letter Richardson begins by having Pamela write traditional letters. Traditional letters can be defined as letters of correspondence whose aim is to inform the audience of one's present circumstances. Richardson and Pamela both begin with the traditional letter because it is what they are familiar with and because Pamela's inner life has not begun to be developed. Her first several letters are of this traditional format. Pamela's mistress has died, and Pamela feels the need to write home to inform her parents of this development. Moreover, these tr aditional letters are written to be read by a specific audience. Pamela knows that she is writing to her parents, and she crafts the rhetoric of the letter appropriately. In Letter III, Pamela writes, "No, my dear Father and Mother, be assur'd, that, by Go d's Grace, I never will do any thing that shall bring your grey Hairs with Sorrow to the Grave. I will die a thousand Deaths, rather than be dishonest any way." 37 Pamela 's statement is in direct response to a comment her father made to her in his previous l etter. She also mentions God and her desire to live an honest life. These facts indicate the audience awareness by Pamela; she is extremely aware of who she is writing to, which causes her to engage in direct dialogue and to mention things, such as God's g race, that she knows her parents want to hear. The letters are being used as a means of direct dialogue crafted for a known audience. This form of writing does not work to develop the psychological character of Pamela. Because it is written for a known a udience, Pamela's description and portrayal of herself is calculated and premeditated. A psychological portrait is not being presented because the inner life of Pamela is intentionally absent in favor of a character depiction 37 Richardson, Pamela 15.


23 crafted for a specific audienc e. Pamela begins the book writing traditional letters, but as her relationship with Mr. B. becomes more complicated her letter writing takes on a new dimension. She begins to use writing as a space to express and understand her internal processes. The Stream of Consciousness Letter Pamela's progression in letter writing mirrors Richardson's development as an author. Richardson, as he crafts Pamela's ever complicating situation, begins to experiment with different literary techniques to express Pamela's inner thoughts. While the term "stream of consciousness" is typically used in reference to modernist authors, it is important to note that the rhetoric of some of Pamela's letters take on the form of proto stream of consciousness. Loosely defining stream of consciousness as an attempt at recreating, in writing, the way the mind works, Pamela's letters evolve into an experimental form of this writing style. The first significant instance occurs after Mr. B. informs Pamela that he will not let her leave his house when he originally said that he would. Pamela writes: He went out, and I was tortur'd with twenty different thoughts in a minute; sometimes I thought, that to stay a week or fortnight longer in his house to obey him, while Mrs. Jervis was with me, co uld do no great harm: but then, thinks I, how do I know what I may be able to do? I have withstood his anger; but may I not relent at his kindness? How shall I stand that? Well, I hope, thought I, by the same protecting grace in which I will always con fide? But then, what has he promised? Why he will make my poor father and mother's life comfortable. O, said I to myself, that is a rich thought; but let me know dwell upon it, for fear I


24 should indulge it to my ruin. What can he do for me, poor girl as I am! What can his greatness stoop to! 38 The passage is written with the intention of recreating the way the mind oscillates between different thoughts. Richardson uses the signal phrase "tortur'd with twenty different thoughts in a minute" to initiat e the moment into Pamela's mind. Alt hough it is written in the past tense, Richardson attempts to imitate the quick movements between one thought to another by linking the entire passage together through punctuation. He uses colons, dashes, and semi colons to link the sentences together grammatically to force the reader to follow the thoughts quickly, as they might occur in Pamela's head. With the minimal use of full stops, the reader is forced to continue moving through the clauses without a break. The pas sage is constru cted to put the reader inside Pamela's mind. In addition to being grammatically constructed to recreate the processes of the mind, this passage also demonstrates the quickness with which Pamela moves between opposite lines of reasoning. Pam ela is concerned about what might happen to her if left longer with Mr. B First, she thinks that she will be fine staying longer: "sometimes I thought, that to stay a week or fortnight longer in his house to obey him, while Mrs. Jervis was with me, could do no great harm." 39 But the next clause, connected by a colon, immediately questions her previous judgment: "but then, thinks I, how do I know what I may be able to do? I have withstood his anger; but may I not relent at his kindness?" 40 Pamela has quickly moved from thinking she will be safe with Mr. B. to questioning her 38 Richardson, Pamela 85. 39 Ibid., 86. 40 Ibid., 86.


25 ability to withstand his advances. And then Richardson begins to use dashes to grammatically and visually connect the thoughts together: How shall I stand that? Well, I hope, thought I, by the same protecting grace in which I will always confide? But then, what has he promised? Why he will make my poor father and mother's life comfortable." 41 Pamela is here following the line of logical reasoning that allows her to draw the conclusi on that she will be safe and should stay; each clause builds upon the previous one by posing a mental question and answering it. This passage displays one of the moments in which Pamela and Richardson experiment with writing the psychological thought proc esses of the mind. Compared to the first few letters of the novel, the use of complicated punctuation is important. The first letters are grammatically and syntactically constructed in a traditional way: they follow a formulaic organization; the sentences are written in a coherent manner; and the pace is much slower and deliberate. However, as in the aforementioned letter, Pamela is distinctly deviating from the traditional letter format. Instead of deliberately crafting a letter, she is now thinking throug h her writing. By utilizing this type of stream of consciousness, Richardson is beginning to create a psychological portrait of Pamela. In her traditional letters, she is intentionally crafting a calculated image of herself for her parents. But as she nears the moment wh en she is to be moved by Mr. B. to his country home, her letters no longer reach her parents immediately. At the beginning of Letter XXXI, Pamela acknowledges that her audience is not able to immediately interact with her writing: "I Will continue my Writi ng still, because, may be, I shall like to read it, when I am with you, to see what Dangers God has 41 Richardson Pamela 86.


26 enabled me to escape." 42 Pamela is aware that her letters are not reaching her parents, which changes the way she presents herself. As her audience becomes m ore distant, she begins to craft a portrait of herself, in writing, that attempts to recreate the way her mind works through thoughts and ideas. The Internal/External Letter Another technique with which Richardson experiments as a means of recreating the psychological workings of the mind is the close juxtaposition of inner thoughts with their external expressions. In Letter XXXI Pamela writes, "O black, perfidious Creature, thought! what an implement art thou in the hands of Lucifer to ruin the innocent heart But still I dissembled; for I fear'd much both him and the place I was in. But who, pray Sir, have you thought of?" 43 The technique is subtle but effective. Richardson has Pamela narrate her inner thoughts to the audience and then immediately foll ows with her external actions. The most significant aspect of this technique is that the internal thoughts do not match the external actions; Pamela is internally angry "O black, perfidious Creature" yet is externally calm and polite "But who, pray S ir, have you thought of?" 44 This is significant because, by putting such stark contrast between the internal and external, Richardson is drawing attention to the disparity between the inner life and the outer life, which functions as proof of the existence of an inner life for the reader It proves existence through difference. The fact that one thinks one thing and does another draws attention to the disconnect between thought and action without elevating one or the other to a greater position of power. The disconnect is only known by the reader because it is 42 Richardson, Pamela 86. 43 Ibid., 87. 44 Ibid., 87.


27 only in writing that thoughts can be displayed and juxtaposed to external actions. Actions have an objective correlative; thoughts do not. Therefore, being able to read a character's thoughts is a uniqu e access point into another's mind. This is evidence of Richardson's growing awareness of the nature of his narrative techniques. Through writing the story, he and Pamela begin to understand the disparity between one's internal thoughts and one's external actions. The juxtaposition of inner and outer thoughts contributes to the creation of Pamela's psychological portrait. Her external actions are calculatedly presented to her audience. These calculated external presentations create an impression of a char acter for others to observe. However, through juxtaposing Pamela's inner thoughts and outer actions, Richardson provides the reader with a glimpse of Pamela's uncalculated self. Here, her audience is still her parents, but with their continuing absence, Pa mela begins to express her raw reactions to her situations before she is able to express a calculated external response. Her psychological portrait is created by allowing the reader to see what Pamela's initial reactions are to her si tuations before she ha s a chance to don an external mask and hide her true feelings. The Reflective Journal Richardson employs a nother technique to demonstrate the internal life through writing: the process of internal reflection After Mr. B. moves Pamela to his country hous e in the latter part of the no vel she switches from letter writing to journal writing. The journal writing style allows for Pamela to develop a different perspective on her situation through her writing. While both letters and journals have audiences, the journal's aud ience is indirect. Pamela justifies keeping a journal by stating that she


28 expects her parents to read it at a future date, but she is no longer writing directly to them because they are not immediately receiving access to the journal. Richards on, made evident through the instructional book on letter writing that he wrote before Pamela was a master of the formal and familiar letter genre. However, journals are not as formally constructed as letters. Journals allow for deviations from form and e xperimentation with narrative. It is in this free form journal setting that Pamela's and Richardson's creative experimentation becomes more urgent. In the midst of narrating her story, Pamela deliberately pauses to assess her situation through her writing. She writes: But he says enough of himself; and I can only sit down with this sad reflection that power and riches never want tools to promote their vilest ends, and that there is nothing so hard to be known as the heart of man! Yet I can but pity the poor wretch, since he seems to have some remorse, and I believe it best to keep his wickedness secret; and if it lies in my way, to encourage his penitence; for I may possibly make some discoveries by it. 45 At this moment, Pamela has learned about Mr. B.'s reading of her letters through a note written to her by John Arnold. Instead of immediately reacting to this news, she writes out and reflects upon her situation. She begins thi s passage disparaging Mr. B.'s actions; however, as the passage progresses, he r outlook changes. At Yet I can but pity the poor wretch" Pamela moves from feeling powerless to Mr. B.'s money and control to figuring out a way to use his actions to her advantage. Instead of succumbing to Mr. B.'s seemingly endless amount of trickery, she decides to "encourage his penitence" in order 45 Richardson, Pamela 120. My emphasis.


29 to make "discoveries by it 46 Richardson presents this movement as something that happens because of Pamela's written reflection of her situation. Through writing, Pamela establishes a critical distance be tween herself and her surroundings. Rather than merely presenting the inner life as in the internal/external letter, the journal medium allows the reader to witness Pamela creating her inner self. She is reflecting on her situation and using her journal as a direct means of thinking through and processing her circumstances. In this medium, the audience has all but disappeared. It has become a safe place for Pamela to express her inner life. Now, her psychological portrait is not simply being presented; he r psychological portrait is displaying her process of becoming her self. All of thes e rhetorical techniques serve s not only as access routes into the mind of Pamela, but they also serve as markers for the growth of Pamela and Richardson as writers. As th e story progresses, Richardson grows into his ability as a creative artist, and Pamela's development as a writer mirrors his growth. However, the most significant scene in the story in terms of the development of psychological realism is Pamela's near suic ide in the pond. The Pond Scene During the pond scene, Richardson once again utilizes the journal form to allow for Pamela's internal reflections. In the previous instance, Richardson has Pamela reflect for me rely a paragraph. But as Pamela and Richardso n continue to develop as writer s, he has Pamela begin to use the process of reflection through writing at great length s and in new ways. The pond scene is the moment when Pamela sneaks out of her room in Mr. 46 Richardson Pamela 120.


30 B.'s country home and tries to escape. Once she realizes that she cannot climb the exterior wall, she sits by the pond and contemplates suicide as her only option for escape. This is Pamela's darkest moment. Frustrated by her imprisonment and helplessness, she desires to take back her autonomy through t he only course of action that she can think of: taking her own life. However, during her reflection, she realizes that she has another option besides s uicide. She finally comes to terms with herself. She works through her desperation and despair and comes out of the other side of her internal reflection with the moral power to change the others around her for the better. In addition to being significant to the development of psychological realism in the novel, this scene is also significant to the plot. It is significant because this is the moment that affects Mr. B. when he reads her journal. The fact that Richardson makes this moment significant to t he plot emphasizes its importance to his greater purpose of attempting to recreate the psychological process es of Pamela in writing. This section of Pamela's journal is created through severa l layers of reflection Pamela is writing about an event that happened several days before, and then, while recreating the events, she takes her reader into the labyrinth of her mind as the events occur. The first paragraph of the section is written by Pamela at the time of her actual journaling. She explains that she has a story to tell but that the story occurred several days prior. Then, as she begins her story, she inserts a space to differ entiate the story from the initial paragraph. 47 This space provides a visual break between the different layers of her reflection. Using these breaks, Richardson creates internal sections that signal the audience that something new is happening with the way that Pamela is telling 47 Richardson, Pamela 170.


31 her story. The first pa ge break separates Pamela at the time of writing from Pamela's recount of the physical events of her escape. She narrates how her attempts at climbing the wall and unlocking the gate fail. But then Pamela decides to tell the reader about her thoughts of su icide, which is separated by another br eak, which signals another movement to the next part of her internal reflection. The next section begins: "God forgive me! but a sad Thought came just then into my Head!" 48 Pamela is now taking the reader directly in side of her mind. Like Isabel during her midnight vigil, Pamela is physically stationary. She is simply sitting beside the pond. However, her mental faculties are active. She is thinking through her situation inside of her mind. The story is furthered, li ke Isabel's narrative, through Pamela's thoughts. During Pamela's recount of her near suicide in the pond she stops and reflects on her situation for the better part of two pages. As Pamela drags herself to the side of the pond, she consciously takes time to "ponder [her] wretched Condition." 49 She then signals to her audience that another change in narration is happening by ending the paragraph with "And thus I reason'd with myself." 50 Though there is not a visual break here, this statement signals another movement deeper into Pamela's mind. The passage begins "Pause here a little, Pamela on what thou art about, b efore thou takest the dreadful L eap 51 This new area of the mind is differentiated from the previous section by Pamela switching from the first person into the third person. Then s he imagines what would happen if she did throw herself into the lake: 48 Richardson, Pamela 171. 49 Ibid., 172. 50 Ibid., 172. 51 Ibid., 172.


32 W hen they see the dead C orpse of the unhappy Pamela dragg'd out to these slopy B anks, and lying breathless at their Feet, they will find that Remorse to wring their obdurate H earts, which now has no P lace there! And my Master, my angr y Master, will then forget his R esentments, and say, O this is t he unhappy Pamela that I have so causelessly persecuted and destroy'd! Now do I see she preferr'd her Honesty to her L ife, will he say, and is no Hypocrite, nor D eceive r; but really was the innocent C reature she pretended to be! Then, thinks I will he, p erhaps, shed a few Tears over the poor Corse of his persecuted S ervant. 52 This is a different moment than we have seen before in the text. Here Pamela is i nventing the story of what might happen if she committed suicide. She imagines that her ca ptors find her body in the pond, a nd her mind immediately jumps to what she perceives as Mr. B.'s reaction. The immediacy is signaled through her use of the dash to connect her sentences and thoughts: "which now h as no P lace there! And my Master, my angr y Master, w ill then forget his R esentments ." 53 She is not recounting events that "actually" have happened, and she is more than describing the thoughts she has during a particular occasion. She is, through writing, imagining the outcome of her present moral actions. Richardson is taking the reader into a different place in Pamela's mind: the place of invented future actions. Pamela is recounting a story within a story, all within her mental reflections. Pamela then begins to return back out of her internal, imaginative reflections. She begins to make moves to throw herself into the pond, b ut her body fails her and she falls back down on the bank. Then, there is another visual break on the page to signal another 52 Richardson, Pamela 172 173. 53 Ibid., 172.


33 de s c ent into her mind. This next section begins "Then, thought I, who gave thee, presumptuous as thou art, a Power over thy Life?" 54 In this portion of her reflection, Pamela wrestles with the idea that it is God, and not her self who has power over her life; t herefore, it is not her life to take away as she sees fit. In a long paragraph, Pamela move s from one question to the next. She questions her motives, questions the results of her actions, and questions the consequences of her actions. "And wilt thou," she writes/thinks, "for shortening thy transitory Griefs, heavy as they are, and weak as thou fanciest thyself, plunge both Body and Soul into everlasting Misery? Hitherto, Pamela thought I, thou art the innocent, the suffering Pamela ; and wilt thou be the g uilty Aggressor?" 55 One question leads to another and builds off of the previous thought. First she thinks that committing suicide will lead to "everlasting Misery." But, in the next sentence, she parses out why her actions would lead to misery. She thinks about her previous situation as an innocent person and compares it to the consequences of what would happen to her morally if she decides to commit the sin of suicide. This paragraph is constructed to not be Pamela, several days removed, journaling about her experiences; it is constructed to imitate exactly how her mind was processing her situation in the moment. By the end of the paragraph, though, she comes to her conclusion. The next paragraph shifts a step back from her reconstruction of her mental pr ocesses. She writes, "What then, presumptuous Pamela dost thou here, thought I?" 56 T his new paragraph brings back the voice of Pamela while she is journaling. She has reestablished her critical distance between her journaling and her internal reflection on 54 Richardson, Pamela 173. 55 Ibid., 174. 56 Ibid., 174.


34 the banks of the pond. From here, Pamela returns the reader back to the moment of her journaling and eventually to the present action of the progressing story. In the pond scene, Pamela and Richardson present the reader with several layers of psychological realism. First, Pamela is journaling in her present moment; then she takes the reader into a memory; then once inside that memory, she makes two important narrative moves : she narrates an invented future and she recreates the way her mi nd worked through her situation, building off of one idea to the next. This moment in the text presents a complicated psychologica l depiction. Richardson is able to use the epistolary and journal form to create a unique portrait of Pamela. In this prosaic medium, he is a ble to explore the complicated moves that the mind makes. This moment is important enough to Richardson that he ret urns to this moment at the end of the novel. Conclusion Richardson is cognizant of the way he is creating the character of Pamela. He is attempting to delve into the inner workings of her mind to show the connection between her actions and her internal m otives. However, the techniques of the novel genre are still unknown bec ause of how new it is. H is perennial development of Pamela's psychology throughout the novel suggests that he is aware of the novel's potential. To this end, he writes into the plot th e change that he wants to effect on the reader. Richardson's goal is to affect the minds of his audience in an attempt to inspire "a laudable emulation in the minds of any worthy persons 57 The novel Pamela is meant to change the mind s and actions of its r eader. Richardson demonstrates this desired change through the characters that read Pamela's writing in the story. 57 Richardson, Pamela 503.


35 Mr. B., most notably, is directly affected through reading Pamela's letters and journal. In the first half of the novel, Mr. B. is depicted as lustful and deceitful; he is a man who uses his money and power to get what he desires. However, as Mr. B. reads Pamela's story (along side the reader of the novel itself), he is drastically altered. While walking in the garden with Mr. B. Pamela descr ibes the change: He was very serious at my R eflections on what God enabled me to escape. And when he came to my R easonings about throwing myself into the Water, he said, W alk gently before; and seem'd so mov'd, that he turn'd away his F ace fr om me; and I bless'd this good S ign, and began not so much to repe nt at his seeing this mournful P art of my S tory He put th e Papers in his P ocket, when he had read my R eflections and T hanks for escaping from myself; an d he said, taking me about the Waist, O my dear G irl! you have touch'd me sensibly with your mournful R elation, and your sweet R eflections upon it. I should truly have bee n very miserable, had it taken E ffect. I see you have been us'd too roughly; and it is a Mercy you stood Proof in that fatal M oment. 58 The repeated noun "reflections" is key to understanding Richardson's purpose for the entire novel. It is through the reflections, and not the plot, that the change occurs in Mr. B. By reading Pamela's inner thoughts, Mr. B. becomes a more virtuous charac ter. He begins to mi mic Pamela's veracity in her motives and actions. Significantly, in this passage, Richardson inserts himself into Pamela's internal narrative. This insertion happens when Pamela thinks in the third and first person. She often addresses herself in the third person as in "Pause here a little, Pamela on wha t thou 58 Richardson, Pamela 240 241. My emphasis.


36 art." Yet this can also be read as a direct address from Richardson. Grammatically, the speaker is directly commanding Pamela to pause and reflect. This happens again several times throughout the extended passage: for example, "when they see the dea d Corpse of the unhappy Pamela dragg'd out to theses slopy Banks." While this is certainly Pamela addressing herself in the third person, it is also Richardson placing himself into the narrative by directly addressing Pamela As Richardson enters, through the writing of psychological realism, the mind of Pamela, the audience is also entering Richardson's mind. This is Beebe's argument about the unique power of the KŸnstlerroman genre. As much as the character's mind is laid open by the author, so is the au thor's mind laid open to the reader. Richardson realized the power of the novel to demonstrate the psychological inner life. His recognition is evident through his return to the pond scene. He writes the pond scene not even half way through the book, but its content and style are so significantly different from the other moments in the text that he purposefully brings the reader and the characters back to the this exact moment to discuss the effects of the experience of reading this particular moment. Wha t the novel Pamela demonstrates is both Richardson's experimentations with rhetorical techniques of this particular type of realism and also the effects of this technique on the reader. Richardson's experimentations with the writing of the psychological in ner life are the forerunners for the later writers of psychological realism. It is evident that the novel's length and prosaic structure allows for a new type of reading experience: Richardson attempts to demonstr ate this style both internally, through the narrative, and externally, through the writing and reading experience.


37 CHAPTER II HENRY JAMES' REALISM : THE INNER L ABYRINTH Introduction E. M. Forester, in his Aspects of the Novel imagines a room in which he groups pairs of novelists together at tables. He pairs Samuel Richardson and Henry James. He writes: "It is obvious that here sit two novelists who are looking at life from much the same angle, yet the first of them is Samuel Richardson, and the second you will have already identified as Henry James." 59 Forester grouped these two particular novelists together because "[e]ach is an anxious rather than an ardent psychologist," 60 and he notes that never is a "word out of place in their copious flows." 61 Though he does mention some of the more obvious differences between these two writers, Forester's grouping of these two anxious psychologists is telling of their more subtle similarities. Both authors wrote long works of prose fiction; both authors wrote extensively about their craft; both authors atte mpted to portray a type of realism in their writing, especially in their development of character; and both authors, in at least one of their books, create a story about a character's development as an artist. Richardson's book, as discussed in the precedi ng chapter, is Pamela ; James' book, as will be discussed in this chapter, is The Portrait of a Lady As the title of the work suggests, James is mixing two mediums. He is a writer and is crafting a large novel like Richardson, in which the develo pment of character is the prime focus Yet he also compares the development of character in the novel to 59 E. M. Forester, Aspects of the Novel (Austin, TX: Harcourt, Inc.), 15. 60 Forester, Aspects 15. 61 Ibid., 15.


38 portraiture. In the preface James describes the "next happy twist" of his composition as "the next true touch for my canvas." 62 James is experimenting with how characters are understood in writing. To this end, he experiments with different types of narration and realism to achieve his goal. James, like a portrait painter, creates a character, Isabel Archer, that the audience can look upon and contemplate. But Ja mes uses the novel, with its focus on character development, to attempt to recreate the way the mind works. In Chapter 42 of the novel, Isabel sits by the fire and contemplates her life and dec isions. In this scene James experiments with the way tha t he wr ites her interior space. James' novel creates the space inside of Isabel's head, through which her thoughts are presented to the audience. Yet the fact that both Isabel and James are artists complicates the way that James creates psychological realism. I a rgue that Isabel's internal reflections in Chapter 42 are important to the larger development of psychological realism in the novel, and also that, because the novel is a KŸnstlerroman the scene provides a lens throu gh which a modern understanding self ca n be examined. In this chapter, I will examine James' novelistic techniques; discuss Isabel as an artist of self; and provide a close reading of Chapter 42 James' Philosophy of Writing In his preface to the Portrait James establishes a connection between architecture, portraiture, and literary creation James creates the analogy of the "house of fiction" as a way of describing the creative process. The analogy places the artist inside of a house gazing out at his subjects. The artistic "gaze" is connected to portraiture in that painters must choose the field of vision that they focus on and display. The subject of a 62 James, The Art of the Novel 40


39 portrait is framed in the canvas just as the literary figure is framed by the window in the house of fiction from which the artist gazes out : in both mediums, the artist must choose what to include in the frame for the audience. This analogy serves to elucidate James' thoughts on the multiplicity of literature and art The complicated relationship between the art ist, the art, and the audie nce is at its heart The artist and the audience both bring a m ultiplicity of perception to a work of art. The art is created in relation to the artist's particular vision of the world; the critic, or the audience more generally, understands and interacts with the artistic creation based on their particular vision of the world. However, the character Isabel Archer moves beyond the artist' s frame at the end of the novel: she reverses the position of artist and subject. James builds to use an appropriate verb the famous analogy of the "house of fiction." 63 He writes : "The house of fiction has in short not one window, but a million a number of possible windows not to be reckoned, rather; every one of which has been pierced, or is still pierceable, in its vast front, by the need of the individual vision and by the pressure of the individual will." 64 H e continues: But they [the windows] have this mark of their own that at each of them stands a figure with a pair of eyes, or at least with a field glass, which forms, again and again, for observation, a unique instrument, insurin g to the person making use of it an impression distinct from every other. He and his neighbours are watching the same show, but one seeing more where the o ther sees less, one seeing black where 63 James, The Art of the Novel 46. 64 Ibid., 46.


40 the other sees white, one seeing big where the other sees small, one seeing coarse where the other sees fine. 65 James finishes the passage by stating the importance of the relati onship between the house's interior an d the watcher, whom James refers to as the "consciousness of the artist." 66 In this passage, James is situating the artist inside the house of fiction, while the artistic subjects are outside of the house. James describes the character of Isabel as the sta r ting point of the novel. James began with the characters and then moved to the story. They "appear" before him and his job is to discover the ways they interact and understand the world. Isabel is no different. James tells us that he made the calculated d ecision to "'[p]lace the centre of the subject in the young woman's own consciousness" 67 and to focus the subject of her consciousness on "her relation to herself." 68 Isabel was, in James' mind, a "certain young woman affronting her destiny," 69 and his drivi ng question was "what will she do ?" 70 James also describes the creative process of writing the novel as building a house. Isabel, with her preexistence to the story and plot, is described as standing in the center of the house, the story, being built up aro und her. In this moment, Isabel is described as being inside of, literarily, the house of fiction. Where James' first discussion of the metaphorical house of fiction places the author/creator inside of the house looking out, his description of Isabel and h is creative process for writing the novel places Isabel inside the house with James 65 James, Art of the Novel 46. 66 Ibid., 46. 67 Ibid., 51. 68 Ibid., 51. 69 Ibid., 48. 70 Ibid., 53.


41 working on the outside. The roles, and the metaphor, have been rev ersed. Isabel is now in the position of artist creator inside of the house. Art critic David M. Lubin in his book on portraits and portrayal, argues that Isabel Archer is a self portrait of James. Lubin bases his theory on the themes presented in James' preface. Lubin suggests that the opening scene in Venice, and James' struggle to write while being distrac ted by the interesting city, can be read as a metaphor for the portrait writing process: Certainly James could not have continued to look out his window onto the Riva Schiavoni and still have written his novel. He had to turn away from that window; he had to shut out the view; he had to cut down the field of vision; he had to suppress. This, it seems, is what every portraitist must do: he must look away from the immensity and flux, the only too much, and turn instead to text or canvas, where an orderly, ma nageable, circumscribed version of reality's immensity and flux can be set forth. 71 James, for Lubin, is practicing the exact same process for writing that a portrait painter would undertake. James is shutting out the world in exchange for portraying the world in writing and artistic creation. Though this connection could arguably be made for every artistic endeavor regardless of the medium, Lubin's discussion of the Venice scene is useful to his larger project of making a connection between Isabel and James because it may be "metaphorically related" to James' later discussion in the prefa ce of his portrayal of Isabel. 71 David M. Lubin, "Act of Portrayal" in Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations of The Portrait of a Lady (Philadelphia, PA: Che lsea House Publishers, 1987), 100 101


42 Lubin's metaphorical reading of the opening Venice scene complicates James' position toward fiction. James situations himself inside of a building in both the Venice scene and in the metaphorical house of fiction. In both ex amples, he is the novelist, the artist, the portrait creator, gazing out of an interior space. Drawing on the metaphor of the house as the self, the novelist is creating a connection between the interior of the house and the exterior happenings: connecting the inner life with outer life. Lubin categorizes the differences between the two as realist and formalist. 72 The realist attempts to document an object, a situation, an experience as it actually occurs. The formalist approach concerns itself with how an o bject, situation, or experience is being observed. The realist novelist must, necessarily, be both. To attempt to recreate something accurately is the goal of realism, but the necessity of having to isolate and categorize the flux and multiplicity of life into a work of art is the goal of the artist. These two goals are, largely, at odds with one another: "To some degree this conflict between what is perceived as an outside, prior reality and the subjection of that so called reality to conventions of aesthe tic form underlies virtually every act of artistic creation." 73 T his dichotomy between interiors and exteriors, inner and outer pervade s Portrait. However, the inner/outer dichoto my is deconstructed in the James' discussion James initially positions himself, the artist, inside the house looking out, but then he describes Isabel as being at the center of the house. She, the literary subject, is now in the position of the artist inside the house. In the preface, the discussion of architecture unfolds as follows: James inside of his room in Venice, vacillating between novel writing and gazing out the window at life; the metaphor of the house of fiction in which James is 72 Lubin, "Act of Portrayal," 103. 73 Ibid., 103.


43 positioned as the author/creator gazing out of a window at the fictional story that is unfolding outside of the window; and finally, James reverses the metaphor and places his subject Isabel inside the house while he builds the story around her. The novel, according to James, is at its highest as a literary form when the work can both a dhere to the conventions of the novel genre and "range through all the differences of the individual relation to its general subject matter, all the varieties of outlook on life, of disposition to reflect and project, created by conditions that are never t he same from man to man." 74 This description of the multiplicity of life and perception is key to James' philosophy of literature. James' understanding of self moves beyond the simple inner/outer dichotomy: the self can only be understood through a multipli city of perceptions. The multiplicity of perception is complicated by the fact that Isabel is, like James, an artist. Isabel as Artist James is an artist who thought constantly about art the nature of art and the nature of the artist. Beebe describes what it takes to be a Jamesian artist: "Talent, disinterested curiosity, and detachment these are the main essentials of the artist." 75 These qualities are necessary, in James' world, to create art. To this end, James creates characters and situations tha t explore the artistic process. The Portrait of a Lady engages the concepts of art and creation in several ways. The main characters in the story are directly related to the artistic process. "In one sense or another," Horne states, "many of its [the novel 's] characters Ralph Touchett, Ned Rosier, Madame Merle herself are collectors. Even Isabel becomes like a collector though of experiences rather than of 74 James, Art of the Novel 45 46. 75 Beebe, Ivory Towers 201.


44 objects taking up an attitude of superi or critical connoisseurship in which she is encouraged by her friendship with the civilized seeming Madame Merle." 76 Horne rightly identifies the characters as collectors, which is, in a sense, to be an artistic critic. But James does more than simply make his characters collector, or appreciators, of art: "Eve n when James's observers are not practicing artists, they have most of the artist's characteristics his detached curiosity, his faculty of observation and capacity for appreciation, and his devotion to an ideal." 77 James deliberately compares all of the principal characters in the novel to the artistic process. Isabel is a work of art and develops into the artist as well. Ralph is representative of the patron and audience of art. Madame Merle is an artist whose medium is social grace and perfection. James creates Madame Merle to be artistically similar to Isabel. Both Isabel and Merle are autonomous women who practice the art of self fashioning through calculated choices and actions. Osmond's character is representative of art's critic. And, comparable to the relationship of critic and art elsewhere, Osmond and Isabel have a special relationship. He is drawn to her creation, though he eventually finds fault, rather than perfection, in her work. The narrator describes the two characters during their initial courtship based on their artistic representations: "Isabel was the attraction" and "Osmond was a critic." 78 And finally, even the narrator is crafted as an artist because of his conscious choices to withhold and reveal information at calculated moments thr oughout the story in order to build dramatic tension. In summary, James' major characters are all, in some way representative of the 76 Horne, "Introduction," xxii. 77 Beebe, Ivory Towers 198. 78 Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady (New York: Penguin Classics, 2011), 287.


45 artistic process without actually being creators of art. Their lives and movements in their social circles are artisticall y carried out. In this section, I will focus on the portrayal of Isabel and the narrator as artists and will conclude with a discussion of the significance of this portrayal. James creates Isabel to be the image of the artist. This begins from the very mo ment that Ralph, the narrator, and the audience first encounter Isabel. At the beginning of the second chapter, Ralph wanders towards the house: "His face was turned towards the house, but his eyes were bent, musingly, upon the lawn; so that he had been an object of observation to a person who had just made her appearance in the doorway of the dwelling for some moments before he perceived her." 79 This initial sighting of Isabel positions her in the role of the artist. She is actively viewing the scene before her. The doorway acts as a frame, like the frame of a painting. Ralph is in the passive role of the "object of observation." In this initial appearance, Isabel vie ws the scene on the lawn from a distance, through a frame, as an artist would view an art ob ject. Isabel's artist ic medium, James reveals, is her self. She crafts her self through the choices that she makes throughout the text. Isabel's character continually grows and changes based upon her decisions, circumstances, and choices. Isabel creates h er art her own character through her choices. The choices she makes shape what type of character she becomes. Early in the novel, Isabel wishes to stay up into the night and talk with Ralph and Lord Warburton. Her aunt, Mrs. Touchett, tells Isabel that it is not appropriate in England for a young, single lady to stay up into the night with gentlemen. Isabel, though initially confused by this custom, acquiesces and 79 James, Portrait of a Lady 14.


46 goes to bed. Before bed, Isabel thanks her aunt for informing her of what one shouldn't do Her aunt responds: "So as to do them?" Isabel retorts with: "So as to choose." 80 This is how the chapter ends, which is telling of the importance that James puts on Isabel's choices. Isabel is not attempting to create an English lady; rather, she is in th e process of creating herself from an original mold. Her choices are like the paintbrush through which Isabel is painting her self portrait. Isabel elaborates on the significance she places on her choices in conversations with Goodwood and Merle. She is c onsciously forming her character, which makes her the artist creating the work of art that is her self. She describes her thoughts on her deliberate choices to Goodwood: I am not in my first youth I can do what I choose I belong quite to the independen t class. I have neither father nor mother; I am poor; I am of a serious disposition, and not pretty. I therefore am not bound to be timid and conventional; indeed I can't afford such luxuries. Besides, I try to judge things for myself; to judge wrong, I th ink, is more honourable than not to judge at all. I don't wish to be a mere sheep in the flock; I wish to choose my fate and know something of human affairs beyond what other people think it compatible with propriety to tell me. 81 In this passage, Isabel fo cuses on her ability to do as she chooses. For various reasons, she is in a position in her life to make her own choices and determine her own fate. Isabel wants to judge things for herself so as to make choices based on her judgments. Both judgments and c hoices are made actively. Isabel is taking an active role in the creation of 80 James, Portrait of a Lady 70. 81 Ibid., 169.


47 her self. Artists are also active participants in the creation process. The artist is required to actively make judgments and choices on how best to express his art. Isabel is in the role of the artist, creating her self through her active participation in her judgments and choices. In a conversation later in the novel Merle and Isabel argue over what extent one's circumstances and external environment affects one's self. Merle a rgues that external factors, one's "shell," 82 as she calls it, play a large role in the creation and expression of one's self; Isabel argues that one's self is not determined by external factors. After Merle states that one's expression of one's self is the determining factor in creation of self, Isabel responds: "I don't know whether I succeed in expressing myself, but I know that nothing else expresses me. Nothing that belongs to me is any measure of me; on the contrary, it's a limit, a barrier, and a perf ectly arbitrary one. Certainly, the clothes which, as you say, I choose to wear, don't express me; and heaven forbid they should!" 83 Isabel argues that external factors do not define and express one's self. Rather, she focuses her argument around the idea of choice. She responds to Merle's inquiry as to why clothes don't express her by stating, "To begin with, it's not my own choice th at I wear them; they are imposed upon me by society." 84 This final statement by Isabel demonstrates the importance of choice in her philosophy. Because societal custom s demand that she wear clothes, Isabel feels that it is actually not her choice whether to wear clothes or not. Therefore, because it is not her choice, the clothes do not express her self. For Isabel, 82 James, Portrait of a Lady 211. 83 Ib id., 211. 84 Ibid., 211.


48 choices that are made deliberately by a person define and shape one's character: one's self. Conscious choices are what she believes creates her self. James' reflection on Isabel's character in his preface contributes to Isabel's portrayal as an artist. He makes a comparison between writing and building and describes Isabel as being in the center of the house that he is creating As James writes, or builds, the text, Isabel is at t he center of the novel. The description of Isabel inside of the house is a reversal of James' previous metaphor of the house of fiction where he places the artist creator inside the house looking out at the art object. T he first metaphor places the artist inside of the house; the second metaphor places Isabel inside of the house. She is now in the place of the artist, just as she is placed inside of the house gazing out on the lawn and Ralph in the opening scene. James' q uestion for Isabel's character is "What will she do ?" 85 This statement suggests action on Isabel's part. The statement implies that Isabel has a choice in what she will do, and James is not completely certain of what her choice will be. Though he is the art ist of the text, Isabel is crafted to be the portrait of the artist whose medium is choice and whose art is the creation of self. The other important character that James crafts to be a type of artist is the narrator. The narrator positions himself, as ma ny narrators do, in a liminal space between the characters proper and the audience/readership. The narrator knows intimate things about the characters and the setting, which is more than the reader can know, and the narrator addresses the audience/readersh ip directly at times and follows the story from the same perspective, which is more than the characters proper can do. The narrator is a separate consciousness that the reader must reckon with, and though the narrator might 85 James, Art of the Novel 53.


49 not directly affect the action i n the story, he most certainly affects the way the action in the story is presented to the reader; for this reason, the narrator also becomes a "character" in the story. Just as Isabel's artistic medium is choice, the narrator crafts the drama of the novel through the conscious choices made about what information to provide the audience and what information to withhold. For example, the narrator chooses to withhold the history between Osmond and Merle from the reader because the final drama of the story ste ms from this plot. If the reader knew about Pansy's parents, then Isabel's progression towards knowledge becomes less impactful for the reader. The title of the work suggests that James is consciously trying to craft Isabel's character like a painter cons ciously creates a portrait of a person. The connection to portraiture is appropriate for several reasons: first, James is creating a character like a painter would create a painting of a person; second, there are many references throughout the text to brus h strokes and framing and sketches, which are all terms used in painting; and finally, like painting, the external appearances and actions of the characters are the most accessible, while the inner life motives, thoughts, histories of the characters re mains unknowable. The narrator refers, on many occasions, to the story as a "sketch." 86 This connection to drawing and painting is mirrored by a statement from James in the preface. James states that while he was writing the novel he was taking a room in Ve nice. While there he was waiting for the "next true touch for my canvas." 87 Even years later, James still associates his process for writing the novel with painting. Significantly, both James and the narrator are the ones consciously "painting" the portrait of Isabel. James is 86 James, Portrait of a Lady 4, 6, 211. There are other references from the narrator's voice about sketching, character description, and framing throughout the novel. 87 James, Art of the Novel 40.


50 connected to the narrator because both are artists and both are painting the portrait of Isabel. And while both of these two forces James and the narrator are crafting Isabel, she is at the same time crafting herself through her ch oices and decisions. So James, the narrator, and Isabel all share the same position of artist creating Isabel's character. In particular, James is interested in portraying Isabel's interior mental architecture. Chapter Forty Two: Into the Labyrinth "After Osmond had gone, she leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes; and for a long time, far into the night, and still further, she sat in the silent drawing room, given up to her meditation." 88 This begins chapter forty two in which Isabel famously sits up late into the night and contemplates her marriage and life choices. The chapter is famous because of the richly complex presentation of psychological realism. James reflects on this chapter as an attempt to "show what an exciting' inward life may do for the person leading it even while it remains perfectly normal." 89 And: Reduced to its essence, it is but the vigil of searching criticism; but it throws the action further forward than twenty incidents' might have done. It was designed to have all th e vivacity of incident and all the economy of picture. She sits up, by her dying fire, far into the night, under the spell of recognition on which she finds the last sharpness suddenly wait. It is a representation simply of her motionlessly seeing 90 88 James, Portrait of a Lady 445. 89 James, Art of the Novel 57. 90 Ibid., 57.


51 He end s his thoughts on this section by stating that this scene is "obviously the best thing in the book." 91 Almost the entire chapter thirteen full pages takes place inside of Isabel's mind as she attempts to work through all the situations and circumst ances with which she is wrestling at the moment. What is striking about this chapter is not just its portrayal of Isabel's thoughts but its variety of techniques. James does not simply attempt to write what his character is thinking; rather, he experiments with a variety of different ways to present the fluctuations of the mind: Isabel's mind attempts to understand Lord Warburton's thoughts; her mind conjugates images of the past and reanalyzes them; her mind conjugates images of the future and future action's p otential consequences; her mind admits to itself things that it would not admit in other circumstances. And then finally, when coming back out of the inner "labyrinth," James experiments with different types of narrative techniques as the story moves forwa rd. These techniques of psychological realism will be analyzed in this section. The fir st place that Isabel's meditation attempts to take her is into Lord Warburton's mind. At Osmond's suggestion, Isabel contemplates Lord Warburton's intentions with Pansy. And, up until this point, Isabel had not thought about whether or not Warburton still had feelings for her. But as she sits in the drawing room and contemplates, she attempts to discern Warburton's inner life through his outer actions: When he [Lord Warburton] first came to Rome she believed that the link which united them had completely snapped; but little by little she had been reminded 91 James, Art of the Novel 57.


52 that it still had a palpable existence. It was as thin as a hair, but there were moments when she seemed to hear it vibrate. 92 Isabel is reviewing in her mind Warburton's previous actions and making judgments about h is internal motives bas ed on his outer actions. She then begins to construct logically different scenarios that could be influencing Warburton's actions. These constructs take the form of questions that are woven together and tested against what she knows about Warburton and wha t she can only assume is motivating him: "Was he in love with Gilbert Osmond's wife, and if so, what comfort did he expect to derive from it? If he was in love with Pansy, he was not in love with her stepmother; and if he was in love with her stepmother, h e was not in love with Pansy." 93 Isabel, in her mind, is creating different hypotheses and testing them against each other in order to discern what is truly motivating Warburton. She concludes, for now, that Warburton does still have feelings for her "thi n as a hair" that are driving him to court Pansy in place of h er. Isabel continues to imagine Warburton's thoughts until she is completely lost in the mental game. This first section of her meditation ends when she is able to finally break "out of the la byrinth." 94 In the second section of her meditation, Isabel reflects upon her marriage and then imagines future directions it will take. Thinking of her marriage, Isabel explains the subtle relationship she an d Osmond have through analogies: "She had taken all the first steps in the purest confidence, and then she had suddenly found the infinite vista of a 92 James, Portrait of a Lady 445. 93 Ibid., 446. 94 Ibid., 446.


53 multiplied life to be a dark, narrow alley, with a dead wall at the end." 95 Like the mental labyrinth that she is currently exploring, she compares her mar riage to a simil ar situation. She thinks of her self as wandering around alone in a metaphorical alley that leads to a dead end. In this moment her mental reflections on the past take the form of the same process that she is currently utilizing in her medit ation. Her mind is attempting to explore the landscape of her marriage, but she finds that, like her attempt to understand and penetrate Warburton's inner thoughts and motives, she is lost and unable to clearly see the entirety of the situation. Isabel then conjures future situations and analyzes them. Like Pamela by the pond, this is a special moment in the reading and writing of psychological realism in the KŸnstlerroman novel. This imaginative act is the creative process in writing. The character is innately tied to the author because both are artists. W hen the character is an artist, Beebe's theory argues that the character is necessarily a self portrait of the author. In his mind, t he char acter is creating a creative, fic tional story about themselve s, as is the author Isabel's moment takes the reader into her imagined future. She creates the scenario: He [Osmond] would, if possible, never give her a pretext, never put himself in the wrong. Isabel, scanning the future with dry, fixed eyes, saw that he would have the better of her there. She would give him many pretexts, she would often put herself in the wrong. 96 95 James, Portrait of a Lady 447. 96 Ibid., 448.


54 Just like Pamela imagines the reaction of the other characters if she threw herself into the pond, Isabel is assessing her relationship wit h Osmond and imagining the consequences of potential future actions. She is writing her own story, in her head. Isabel's mind then returns to her initial impressions of Osmond. During Isabel and Osmond's courtship, the audience is not granted complete ac cess into Isabel's thoughts and motivations for choosing Osmond as a suitor. Where earlier in the novel the narrator and the reader are shut out from complete knowledge of Isabel's inner life, Isabel chooses to reflect upon and reveal her previous motivati ons during her vigil. She recalls her first impressions of Osmond, stating very plainly that she had misread him: "She had a vision of him she had not read him right. A certain combination of features had touched her, and in them she had seen the most st riking of portraits." 97 Immediately following is a description of Osmond that combines her past misreading of him with her present knowledge of his character: That he was poor and lonely, and yet that somehow he was noble that was what interested her and seemed to give her her opportunity. There was an indefinable beauty about him in his situation, in his mind, in his face. She had felt at the same time that he was helpless and ineffectual, the very flower of respect. He was like a skeptical voyager, st rolling on the beach while he waited for the tide, looking seaward yet not putting to sea. 98 Isabel is describing the way she initially felt about Osmond, but she is doing so with the knowledge of him that she presently has after being married to him for se veral years. She give s a very poetic description of how she perceived his character traits poor and lonely 97 James, Portrait of a Lady 449. 98 Ibid., 449.


55 and his overall disposition beautiful, helpless, ineffectual. But her continued use of the past tense and her self awareness of her misreading of him darkens her poetic description. The reader is aware of the inaccuracy of her initial perception, as is she. My reading, in other words, is directly concerned with the writing of Isabel's inner life. As Isabel is describing her inner thoughts, the re ader is able to access her inner life; however, because she is describing a way that she used to feel and think that the audience was not originally privy to, the reader's access to Isabel's inner life is nuanced and complicated. While Isabel is recalling her initial impressions of Osmond, the reader is aware that two sets of impressions are at play: one, her initial, incorrect impressions; and two, her current, more informed impressions, which occur concurrently. The two sets of impressions are significan t b ecause they suggest the reality of an inner life. Isabel gives the reader knowledge about her inner life her thoughts and interpretations of the world around her that the reader did not previously have. When Isabel is being courted by Osmond, neithe r the reader (nor the narrator) is given access to what exactly draws Isabel to Osmond. S o the n Isabel's impressions in chapter forty two are new to the audience. This is the first layer of access that the reader is given to the psychological inner life of Isabel. But then Isabel also gives the reader access to her current inner life. This second inner life is the one th at is actively interpreting the previous inner life. This inner life is the one that dubs the previous impressions as misguided and unfounded. The reader then is being given access to two sets another's inner life, which can only be properly presented thro ugh writing and, to be more specific, only through the novel.


56 As the chapter ends, so do does Isabel's vigil. James has worked the reader deep into the labyrinth of Isabel's inner life and slowly works the reader back out at the end of the chapter. We le ave Isabel's mind, briefly encounter Ralph's thoughts, and end with the narrator reasserting his control over the narrative. Isabel thinks about how she acts in front of Ralph, and then the reader is given Ralph's perspective on the matter: "Ralph smiled t o himself, as he lay on his sofa, at this extraordinary form of consideration; but he forgave her for having forgiven him." 99 And finally, the narrator returns with an assertive "As I have said." 100 The audience is slowly and methodically brought back out of Isabel's mind and returned to the narrative. The chapter is written so that while the reader has been exploring Isabel's mind, many hours have passed. The chapter is, in James' own words, "obviously the best thing in the book" because it shows "what an ex citing' inward life may do for the person leading it even while it remains perfectly normal." 101 Yet why it is the best part of the book is only apparent when it is understood as one of the richest passages of psychological realism in the tradition of the En glish novel and when the novel as a whole is understood as a KŸnstlerroman Conclusion After Chapter 42, James begins to lose his ability to understand and control Isabel. This is evident because he is no longer able to understand Isabel's inner life her thoughts, motivations, deliberations when she chooses to return to Rome. At the beginning of the story, the narrator and James both have complete access to Isabel's entire character. They both know her thoughts; they both know her history; they both 99 James, Portrait of a Lady 457. 100 Ibid., 457. 101 James, Art of the Novel 57.


57 know her motives. But as the story progr esses, James begins to lose his access to her inner life Because James is attempting to develop a fictional character in a new way, he experiments with the presentation of Isabel's mental inner life psychological realism. This culminates in the final scene in which Isabel decides to return to Osmond. The reasoning behind this decision is unknown b y the narrator and the audience. Her choice to return is the climax of the book and has been discussed by many critics. Some of the arguments for why she returned focus on her commitment to the sacrament of marriage and to her reputation. A few moments before Goodwood approaches Isabel she is thinking about the concept of marriage as something larger than herself: "He [Osm ond] was not one of the best husbands; but that didn't alter the case. Certain obligations were involved in the very fact of marriage, and were quite independent of the quantity of enjoyment extracted from it." 102 Another argument for why she returned is bas ed on her relationship with Pansy, Osmond's daughter. Over the course of the novel, Isabel and Pansy develop an intimate relationship. When Isabel goes to see Pansy in the convent just before Isabel leaves for Gardencourt, Pansy asks Isabel several times w hether or not Isabel will return, and Isabel directly answers that she will. Isabel makes a verbal promise to Pansy to return. And yet another argument for Isabel's choice to return is based on the simple fact that it is Isabel's own choice. Isabel greatly prides herself on her faculty of independent choice. Yet she discovers that many, if not all, of her major life decisions throughout the story have been influenced by others. Most importantly, perhaps, is her marriage to Osmond. Isabel believes that she m ade that decision completely on her own, though she later realizes that many factors and influences, such as Merle and Osmond's 102 James, Portrait of a Lady 612.


58 desire for her fortune, affected her decision. The choice to return, in the face of a seemingly much better offer and one that t he reader arguably finds to be a better route, is one that Isabel makes completely on her own it is her first truly independent choice. However, it is evident through the many differing speculations as to why Isabel returned that the "right" answer remai ns unknown. James writes a novel that is interested in th e exploration of the inner life Beebe's theory of the KŸnstlerroman directly connects both Isabel and the narrator to James the author due to the fact that they are all artists. Therefore, Jame s is also searching for the inner life of others alongside his characters and his narrator. But Isabel, in this equation, is James. And since James is unable to sound Isabel's inner life completely James cannot completely sound his own inner life. Despite truly beautiful and complicated moments of self knowledge, like Isabel and James demonstrate in Chapter 42, t he inner life, with its fluctuating nature and multiplicity, is not knowable in the other and is not completely knowable in one's self, either.


59 CONCLUSION THE INDIVIDUAL SUBJECT IN THE NOVEL In How Novels Think Nancy Armstrong argues that the development of the modern novel and the development of the modern individual are one and the same: the rise of a self aware individual, conscious of culture and class, begins in the formation of the individual protagonist in the novel. 103 Armstrong begins the book with a close reading and interpretation of a Sir Joshua Reynolds paint ing. Her reading of th e painting is that the it s realism encloses "painter, subject, and spectator entirely within a world of fiction where each exists as an individual to others." 104 She then connects this relationship between artist, subject, and audienc e to the English novel. She argues that, like the painting, novel s have the power to "endow their readers with individuality." 105 Once the concept of individuali ty was created in the novel, the concept rep roduced itself in its readers. The novel provides a unique medium in which an individual's subjectivity can be explored in writing Because of the novel's longer, prosaic structure, the consciousness the interior mental spaces of the characters can be presented and explored at length. L iterary realism Watt argues, rose in tandem with philosophical realism in the 18 th century. While the origins of psychological realism in literature are usually examined in the early part of the 20 th century with authors such as Woolf and Joyce, this thesis argues the movement from philosophical realism to psychological realism can be seen 103 Nancy Armstrong, How Novels Think: The Limits of British Individualism from 1719 1900 (New York: Columbia UP, 2005), 3. 104 Armstrong, How Novels Think 3. 105 Ibid., 3.


60 happening in two author, and in two particular scenes, before the traditional "modernist" authors. Richardson's pond scene in Pamela and James' midnight vigil s cene in Portrait both demonstrate experimentation with the way the mind of the individual is constructed in fiction. The literary sub genre the KŸnstlerroman is the perfect place to examine Armstrong' s theory because it inherently connects, according to Be ebe, the artist author to the artist character. This inherent connection allows for a complicated examination of realism because the individual subjectivity that is being created is both the author's and the character's. The development of individual subjectivity in the English novel can be seen happening in the experimentation with psychological realism in both Pamela and Portrait of a Lady The pond scene in Pamela displays experimental narrative techniques, which makes it a key moment in the develo pment of psychological realism Richardson's didacticism caused him to attempt to recreate a story as c lose to reality as possible. Additionally his use of the epistolary style in addition to the novel's length and focus on character, enab led him to crea te an individual's psychological processes. Isabel's midnight vigil scene displays complex psychological processes also. James' conscious use of portraiture techniques enabled him to experiment with the way that he created and presented his characters. Fur thermore, both characters' psychological realism is complicated by the fact that both characters are artists. Because the characters are artists, they become self portraits of Richardson and James. Both authors are attempting to depict psychologically comp lex characters though the psychological realism is complicated by the added layer of self portraiture.


61 The fact that b oth Richardson and James u nderstood the importan ce of the ir scenes is evident because they both return to the specific scenes at a later time. Richardson returned to the pond scene by having Mr. B. read that specific portion of Pamela's journal. And the reading of the pond scene, moreover, is the moment that solidifies M r. B.'s final movement from lustful rake to virtuous husband which is the most important character arc in the book James returns in his preface years later to Isabel's midnight vigil, calling it "extraordinary" and "obviously the best thing in the book." 106 The fact that, years later, James still finds the scene moving and different suggests its importance. To some extent, both authors are self aware of the significance of the scenes in their novels. These scenes, when read as participants in the KŸnstlerro man genre, are key moments in the history and development of the way the self and the individual are presented and understood in literature. 106 James, Art of the Novel 57.


62 B IBLIOGRAPHY Armstrong, Nancy. How Novels Think: The Limits of British Individualism from 1719 1900 New York: Columbia UP, 2005. Ball, Donald L. Samuel Richardson's Theory of Fiction Paris: Mouton & Co., 1971. Beebe, Maurice. Ivory Towers and Sacred Founts: The Artist as Hero in Fiction from Goethe to Joyce. New York: New York UP, 1964. B lackmur, Richard P. Introduction to The Art of the Novel: Critical Prefaces, by Henry James, vii xxxix. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948. Brophy, Elizabeth. Samuel Richardson: The Triumph of Craft. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1974 Carroll, John. Introduction to Samuel Richardson: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. John Carroll, 1 19. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969. Cowler, Rosemary. Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler, 1 13. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969. Daiches, David. "Samuel Richardson." In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler, 14 25. Englewood Cl iffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969. Forster, E. M. Aspects of the Novel. Austin, TX: Harcourt, Inc., 1927. Horne, Philip. Introduction to The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, xiii xxxviii. New York: Penguin Classics, 2011. James, Henry. The Art of the Novel: Critical Prefaces. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948. James, Henry. The Portrait of a Lady. New York: Penguin Classics, 2011. Kearney, A. M. "Richardson's Pamela. In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler, 78 88. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969. Lubin, David M. "Act of Portrayal." In Modern Critical Interpretations of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady edited by Harold Bloom, 99 115. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.


63 McKillop, Alan D. "Samuel Richardson: Pamela." In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler, 26 32. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969. Reid, B. L. Justice to Pamela. In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pamela: A Collection of Critical Essays ed. Rosemary Cowler, 33 41. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1969. Richardson, Samuel. Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady. New York: Pengu in Books, 2004. Richardson, Samuel. Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded. New York: Oxford UP, 2001. Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding. Los Angeles: U of California Press, 1964.