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Volume :3 Issue : 9 1983      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Joseph Andrews And Radical Satire

Auther : Harold Clifford Brown Jr.

Along with burlesque, romance, satire, mock-heroic comedy of manners, pastoral and picaresque, there is also religious allegory as a technique of fiction in Jospeh Andrews. Recent interpretations of Fielding have emphasized to influence of latitudinarianism on the unsystematic religious ethos they find in his novels, but this essay argues that Augustiniansim informs the religious ethos and allegory of the early novel Joseph Andrews. Here the Christian prototype Abraham Adams condemns uncharitableness and explicitly considers the state of souls belonging to other characters. Adams’s survey of British society reveals so few charitable people that the reader may feel the Augustinian Fielding is condemning the depravity of the whole of human society. In fact, the early Fielding, like Swift and Tolstoi, was a “radical satririst” whose sights were set so high that they amaze and abash the reader, and would revolutionize humanity beyond recognition, were they fully realized. Mixing so many fictional techniques blurs the focus of Fielding’s religious satire and allegory, but not so obscurely that they cannot be identified, and their Augustinian ethos can now be recognized.

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