Study Guide

Joseph Andrews Family

By Henry Fielding

Family

Mr. Joseph Andrews, the hero of our ensuing history, was esteemed to be the only son of Gaffar and Gammer Andrews, and brother to the illustrious Pamela, whose virtue is at present so famous. (1.2.1)

In Richardson's Pamela, the heroine doesn't have a brother named Joseph. Fielding is spicing things up a bit by making his virtuous hero a dude at the mercy of a bunch of lusty ladies. By switching the sex of Richardson's main character, Fielding is not only spoofing the sexual double standards of his time, he's also making fun of Richardson's whole plot.

At ten years old (by which time his education was advanced to writing and reading), he was bound an apprentice, according to statute, to Sir Thomas Booby, an uncle of Mr. Booby's by the father's side. (1.2.4)

All of Joseph's family serves all of the Booby family. We've got a regular Downton Abbey going on here… except, you know, it's Booby Abbey.

[…] You know, Pamela, I never loved to tell the secrets of my master's family; but to be sure you must have known they never loved one another […]. (1.6.2)

Joseph's confiding some deep, dark secrets to his only sister. These are the kinds of things you can only really tell family about.

[…] I have always loved you well as if you had been my own mother. (1.6.7)

Ouch. Joseph may not have chosen the best way to frame his rejection of Lady Booby, but he sure gets his point across. While it may be true that Joseph has thought of Lady Booby as a mom, she certainly has a different opinion. Where's Freud when you need him?

I don't doubt, dear sister, but you will have grace to preserve your virtue against all trails […]. (1.10.5)

Joseph has a pretty healthy family support system. He encourages Pamela and expects her encouragement back—although it's kind of funny that the only thing they really encourage each other to do is not get it on. We mean, there are probably other things they could talk about, right?

[Joseph] begged that they might search for a little piece of gold, which had a ribband tied to it, and which he could swear to amongst all the hoards of the richest men in the universe. (1.14.10)

Joseph doesn't care a lot about wealth, but he attaches a lot of significance to personal relationships. Since he can't see Fanny, this piece of gold is as close of a relationship with her as he's going to get for now. It's pretty characteristic that Joseph doesn't care about the gold as money; he just cares about what it as a symbol of love.

Sir, I am descended of a good family, and was born a gentleman. (3.3.1)

Mr. Wilson has followed a rather different path from Joseph. While Mr. Wilson experienced corruption among the lower classes, Joseph's peasant lifestyle seems to be pretty pure. They both turned out just fine, so maybe everyone finds their own path to and definition of virtue.

My poor Jacky, shall I never see thee more? (4.8.1)

Adams's doctrine about patience and stoicism is majorly tested when (he thinks) his son drowns. Yeah, this episode is so random that you can bet Fielding meant it to just be funny. After all, as we find out almost immediately after this, the kid didn't actually drown.

The parson's joy was now as extravagant as his grief had been before; he kissed and embraced his son a thousand times, and danced around the room like on frantick […]. (4.8.1)

Adams goes through a whole range of emotions when his son is found to be alive. Wonder if his wig stayed on this time?

When he was gone, the pedlar assured Joseph, that his parents were persons of much greater circumstances than those he had hitherto mistake for such […]. (4.15.5)

The problem with Joseph discovering he has new, richer parents is that he's not allowed to be sad about his other parents. It's characteristic of Joseph to stay a good guy even after he finds out he's rolling in dough.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...