Joseph Andrews ; with Shamela ; and Related Writings: Authoritative Texts, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism - Section 14: Criticism page 427-458 Summary & Analysis

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Section 14: Criticism page 427-458 Summary

In Martin C. Battlestin's "Thematic Meaning and Structure", the characters and plot of "Joseph Andrews" illustrate the novel's motifs: vanity and hypocrisy in society as well as the recommendation of antithetical virtues. Adams and Joseph Andrews embody the essential virtues of the good man by demonstrating the Christian character of the virtue of charity. It is a mistake to underestimate the importance of chastity in Fielding's work as Joseph Andrews' virtue is assisted by the good advice and example of Parson Adams. In Sheldon Sacks' "Fielding's Guidance of the Reader's Attitudes in Book 1, Chapters 1-11", the narrator in "Joseph Andrews" is a complex character who acts as a serious and ironic commentator but also contains the elements of burlesque. He exaggerates the negative view of Samuel Richardson because absurdity is stressed to "modify our notions of the place of sexual propriety...

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