Study Guide

Joseph Andrews Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

By Henry Fielding

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation Stage

Joseph Andrews doesn't have a ounce of worldliness in his whole body. He's handsome and totally sweet, but he has no idea that Lady Booby is romantically interested in him. Lady Booby does him a favor by firing him and forcing him to leave London in search of Fanny Goodwill—and in search of a clue. Along the way, he'll learn to live by the rules of the road.

Initial Fascination or Dream Stage

As Joseph bumbles along, he's initially pretty naïve about the dangers of the English road. After all, he's made his way through life trusting that people are all pretty decent, deep down inside. Even though Joseph immediately encounters evil—in the form of a couple of highwaymen and some cruel people in a coach—he continues to believe that good exists everywhere. Still, this road trip is all about being able to navigate in the gray area between good and bad.

Frustration Stage

Although Joseph's finally reunited with his beloved Fanny, Parson Adams still refuses to let them marry. Even worse, evil men like the squire and Beau Didapper keep trying to harm Fanny and take her away from Joseph.

Booker tells us this is when a shadow begins to intrude on the story. You might see this shadow as Lady Booby, who always seems to be looming over the pair of lovebirds. Lady B. also has a couple of those evil men working for her to break up the couple, even if these dudes don't ultimately succeed.

Nightmare Stage

The evil squire is called "the Hunter of Men" for good reason. His sole purpose in life seems to be as nightmarish as possible for poor Fanny, Joseph, and Adams. But when he has his men kidnap Fanny and tie Adams and Joseph to the bedposts at the inn, he really crosses a line.

Joseph is totally helpless now. Although Booker says there's a threat to the protagonist's survival at this point, Fanny's life is the one at stake. But since Joseph's happiness is tied to Fanny's survival, you can bet your britches that he'll be trying to get her out of the squire's clutches.

Thrilling Escape and Return

Even though Joseph can't save Fanny by himself, Peter Pounce is there to save the day. When he brings Fanny and her captor back to the inn where Joseph is tied up, Joseph takes the opportunity to give the captain a sound drubbing.

Joseph and Fanny's escape from danger coincides pretty directly with their return to the Booby country estate. Joseph is finally back where he started, with Fanny finally at his side.

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