Joseph Andrews: Notes

Joseph Andrews: Notes

Joseph Andrews: Notes

Joseph Andrews: Notes

Synopsis

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background.

Including

  • Life and Background of the Author
  • Introduction to the Novel
  • List of Characters
  • Critical Commentaries
  • Character Analyses
  • Essay Topics and Review Questions
  • Selected Bibliography

    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." But just as Fielding excludes the burlesque, which makes up the entirety of Shamela, from his "sentiments and characters" in Joseph Andrews, so too does he progress beyond a mere criticism of the "ridiculous" to a positive statement and portrayal of the values in which he believed. 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.

    Joseph Andrews is a picaresque novel of the road; the title page tells us that it was "Written in Imitation of the Manner of CERVANTES, Author of Don Quixote." Despite its looseness of construction, however, Joseph Andrews does make a deliberate move from the confusion and hypocrisy of London to the open sincerity of the country; one might perhaps apply Fielding’s own words in a review he wrote of Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote: "… here is a regular story, which, though possibly it is not pursued with that epic regularity which would give it the name of an action, comes nearer to that perfection than the loose unconnected adventures in Don Quixote; of which you may transverse the order as you please, without an injury to the whole." ,p>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. 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. Booby. Lady Booby...

  • Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.