Fielding

 JOSEPH ANDREWS The readers and critics maintain different opinions regarding the theme and of Henry Fielding’s first and the most popular novel“Joseph Andrews”. Some of the critics view Parson Adams as a stupid and nonsense person, who invites the mocking of others because of his absent mindedness and simplicity. it is therefore, the critics declare him as one of the funniest characters of the English Literature. Though there are some valid arguments in favour of the claim, which portray a very humorous picture of the parson, yet there exist so many touching lines and incidents, during the development of the story of the novel, which make the parson as the most loveable character of Joseph Andrews. In addition, I vehemently propose that since the story of the novel revolves around the Parson Abraham Adams, the title of the novel should have been after the name of the parson.

Joseph Andrews is thought to be the protagonist of the novel due to the very fact that the story starts and ends concentrating upon him. Moreover, he is the person whose refusal to the advancements of Lady Booby gives the go to the circumstances. In addition, he undergoes various financial losses and physical torture, faces mental sufferings and troubles during his adventures on his way as soon as he is dismissed from his job. Further, he is the character of the novel that combines different scenes of novel and has relationships with all other characters including his sister Pamela, his mistress Lady Booby, his mentor Parson Adams, his childhood friend and beloved Fanny, his co-worker Mrs. Slipslop and his parents Mrs. & Mr. Wilson as well as his patterns and benefactors i.e. the Andrews. Even then the dominant role played and performed by the parson makes him as the central figure of the novel.

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The sacrifices made by the parson and the sympathies and love offered by him are beyond any doubt. It is reality that he had no concern with either Joseph Andrews or Lady Booby, nor he was a rich person having pelf or wealth in plenty. Moreover, he had no political plans in his mind, nor he was a social reformer at all. Even then, he appears to the limelight to stand by the hero Joseph Andrews to rescue him in his miseries. Parson Adams has set out on a journey to deliver as well as sell the sermons in order to get some money in the pursuit of earning some money, but unfortunately the most innocent character of the novel i.e. Parson Adams forgets his sermons at his house and has no benefit to accompany Joseph in his miseries and troubles. Instead of returning to his home, he is determined to carry on his journey without containing the purpose of such excursion.

Further, Adams is least careful of the shortage of money as well as the lack of proper sources of travelling. Instead, he is ambitious to provide Joseph best of his assistance and support while travelling to reach his destination and marry Fanny. His relinquishing of seat in favour of Joseph, and setting on the journey without his horse portray him as the most sublime character of the novel. Similarly, his courageous fight with the vagabonds bare-handed to protect the honour and life of a stranger girl, his unsuccessful and humiliating effort to get loan from the unknown parsons and his gallant deeds of fighting with the inn-owner proves the very reality that Parson Adams is not only the most wonderful and kind character of the novel Joseph Andrews, but also he serves as one of the most loveable, sacrificing, remarkable and devoted character of the entire English Literature.

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