Joseph Andrews by Henry FieldingJoseph Andrews is an 18th century picaresque novel, which means your likelihood of enjoying it will depend largely on your yen for country lanes, coaches, inns, innkeepers, alehouses, firesides, drunkards, con artists, storytellers, highwaymen, and other assorted creatures and landmarks one is likely to meet on an 18th century journey through the English countryside. There is no plot, per say, but rather a series of episodes and encounters undergone by a trio of wanderers as they make their way by coach, horse, and foot from London all the way back to a country estate where Andrews hopes to marry his childhood sweetheart, Fanny. Along the journey, they are robbed, fooled, entertained, attacked, educated, and even occasionally moved by the people they meet, the places they stay, the struggles they face, and the stories they hear.
Neither Andrews nor Fanny have any personality to speak of, but they arent the real draws here, anyhow. That role is filled amply by Andrews’ lifelong pastor Adams, an earnest, naive, and highly argumentative man who constantly delivers sermons regarding the importance of “good works” in a Christian life to anyone who will listen. He carries his sermons in one pocket and his copy of Aeschylus in the other. Sometimes entire chapters are taken up by Adams and some stranger engaged in a heated theological debate by a fireside over a mug of ale in the sitting room of a country inn. Other chapters consist of the travelers sitting around the kitchen table in the house of some farmer who invited them to stay the night. Some of the chapters involve encounters with ruffians or rogues, leading to attacks and escapes, and one section inevitably involves the rescuing of Fanny from a mob of potential rapists. Fanny, incidentally, faces the prospect of rape at least four times throughout the journey, but not to worry - her virtue is always defended in time. She and Andrews serve very little purpose for most of the novel, if truth be told, but Adams, this crazy, lovable pastor, is a forceful and memorable character, and the novel is worth reading for the joys of Adams alone.
Another great joy to be found here is the opportunity to read a novel written before the tropes of the genre had yet to be standardized. Fielding’s 3rd person narrator, for example, often speaks directly to the reader. He takes an entire chapter to justify his use of chapter divisions. He expresses difficulty uncovering certain biographical facts about his characters. He reveals the tricks of the trade, including how to make short chapters seem longer. He goes on chapter-long asides to philosophize about this or that. Fielding clearly had a blast making this up as he went along, unaware that, as he jumped from whim to whim, he was establishing the form of the novel for the next three centuries and counting. Joseph Andrews isnt as brilliant as the Dickensian picaresques that came a century later, but it was the first of its kind in the English language, and it really is intensely charming. If a charming and intelligent, if meandering, adventure through 18th century rural English life and values appeals to you, I think you’ll find much to enjoy.
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Please join StudyMode to read the full document. Fielding takes his characters through a series of confusing episodes, finally aligning them with their correct partners in an improved social setting, from which the most recalcitrant characters are excluded; the characters, for the most part, have all measured and achieved a greater degree of self-knowledge. Thus the marriage of Fanny to a more experienced Joseph takes place in an ideal setting — the country — and is facilitated by the generosity of an enlightened Mr. Lady Booby, unchanged and unreformed, returns to London, excluding herself from the society which Fielding has Picaro means a rogue or an adventurer. The main character is usually of low social class and manipulates their way through life instead of working for what they want. There are seven key qualities that determine if a novel is picaresque or not.
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In Joseph Andrews, Fielding the author, magistrate, and moralist refuses to accept much of what he sees around him; in Book III, he states that his purpose is "to hold the glass to thousands in their closets, that they may contemplate their deformity, and endeavour to reduce it. We find that we are no longer merely laughing at people and situations, but also laughing with them; we are taking delight, rather than laughing in scorn. Our sense of delight at the close of Joseph Andrews is in no sense destructive, but represents one of the many aspects of this book which can be considered under such headings as form, characterization, style, and moral tone. This journey is undertaken in more than a simply geographical sense. Fielding takes his characters through a series of confusing episodes, finally aligning them with their correct partners in an improved social setting, from which the most recalcitrant characters are excluded; the characters, for the most part, have all measured and achieved a greater degree of self-knowledge.
Joseph Andrews. Abraham Adams. Henry Fielding along with Samuel Johnson is considered to be the laminitis of English novel. Henry Fielding was in fact a ironist and ab initio he was known for his satirical plants on the political corruptness of his times. His work shows the realistic attack towards portraying the image of the modern-day society. Published in Joseph Andrews is the narrative of the escapades of a really chaste.