Joseph Andrews Novel by Henry Fielding Essay

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.....along, how are you reacting to "Joseph Andrews," on its own?



As I am reading along, I am thoroughly enjoying the comedy elements in Joseph Andrews, and the way the plot moves along swiftly. The title character is interesting, in that he is the antithesis of the stereotypical male who cannot resist the charms of a woman and who wants to seduce women. On the other hand, Joseph is the one who resists the charms of women. He is committed to the love of his life, Fanny. I also like the fact that Mrs. Booby goes to any lengths to try and break up Joseph and Fanny but fails. It is clear, though, that Fielding does not want this to be a love story or a romance, so much as a political satire. The author achieves this through tone, diction, and style, but also reading this book in its historical context shows that many of Fielding's contemporaries also used the medium of satire to make their political philosophies known.



What do you make of Fielding's presentation of Joseph's virtue of chastity?



For one, Joseph's virtue of chastity is humorous. He is too pure, too chaste, and too perfect.

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He is in love with a girl named "fanny," and running from a girl named "boobie," showing that the title character is really trapped between a rock and a hard place. The title character is also religiously devout in an extreme way, showing that the author is making fun of religion as well as its artificial morality. The fact that the Christian religion mandates no sex before marriage is something that the author seems interested in critiquing. In some ways the author comes across as being cynical, as it is nice to think about a man who is so fully devoted to a woman that nothing can veer him from his commitment to her. Yet Joseph is not as much committed to Fanny as to the idea of chastity. The author uses comedic phrasing, as when he has Joseph refer to the "Christian of true primitive kind," (p. 152). In another passage, the author shows how farcical the presentation of Joseph's virtue actually is: "How ought man to rejoice that his chastity is always in his own power; that, if he hath sufficient strength of mind, he hath always a competent strength of….....

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Works Cited


Fielding, Henry. Joseph Andrews.

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