Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding

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The final book of Henry Fielding's literary masterpiece, Joseph Andrews, draws the various scattered thematic strands of the novel together and resolves the numerous plot conflicts. Most significantly, Book IV, Chapter XVI rewards those who have proven to possess genuine virtue, as opposed to the false variety…

Introduction


Before discussing the selected incident and relating it to the novel's primary themes and overall plot action, it is necessary to identify the real hero, or protagonist, of Joseph Andrews. Doing so is important insofar as this essay has selected an incident involving Parson Adams, rather than one revolving around Joseph Andrews, despite the fact that the novel takes its name from the former character. Quite simply stated and despite the fact that the reader may be influenced towards the supposition that Joseph Andrews is the novel's primary character, due to the novel's more popularly used and known title, the fact is that the full title of this work is The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams. The full title of the work clearly indicates that the author considered Parson Adams a primary, not a secondary, character and, a close reading of the book further supports this contention, not only through the space given to the development of Adams' character but, more importantly, through the role he is assigned in the plot. ...
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