Study Guide

Joseph Andrews Manipulation

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[…] Have you so much more sense and so much more virtue than you handsome young fellow generally have, who make no scruple of sacrificing our dear reputation to your pride, without considering the great obligation we lay on you, by our condescension and confidence? (1.5.1)

Lady Booby is laying it on thick. She's casting herself as the vulnerable one, when it's the opposite that's true. Why doesn't she care about what Joseph wants? Is it because he's just a footman? Or does she assume that just because he's a guy, he's totally down with getting nasty with her?

Don't you? said she, then you are either a fool or pretend to be so. (1.5.1)

Joseph may very well be pretending to be a fool in order to save his own hide. It's often pretty hard to tell in this novel.

Sure nothing can be a more simple contract in a woman, than to place her affections on a boy. (1.6.7)

Mrs. Slipslop's manipulation tactics are ten times more confusing than Lady Booby's because of the pretentious jargon she uses. What on earth is a "contract in a woman"? Does Slipslop herself even know?

Oh madam, answered the other, he is so lewd a rascal that if your ladyship keeps him much longer, you will not have one virgin in the house except myself. (1.7.5)

Slipslop's so mad at Joseph that she doesn't know that she's unconsciously manipulating Lady Booby to fire him. Wait, does that even count as manipulation? Either way, it totally works.

O Love, what monstrous tricks dost thou play with thy votaries of both sexes! (1.7.7)

If Fielding's right, Love is just manipulating everyone because it's all about messing with people's heads. Well, it's certainly true that people in Joseph Andrews do some pretty crazy things for love… not to mention for lust.

And to induce the bookseller to be as expeditious as possible, as likewise to offer him a better price for his commodity, he assured him, their meeting was extremely lucky to himself […]. (1.17.1)

Who said that Parson Adams isn't about making that money? He's willing to do just about anything to sell his sermons, and if he has to manipulate people into taking them, so bet it. After all, it's for the good of his flock, right? Right?

Sir, said the host, I assure you, you are not the first to whom our squire hath promised more than he hath performed. (2.17.1)

What's the use of manipulating someone for seemingly no benefit at all? This squire dude seems to like being appreciated, and yep, there sure are people who are all about manipulating other just in order to get some attention.

[…] The servants were ordered to make him drunk; a favour which was likewise intended for Adams: which design being executed, the squire thought he should easily accomplish, what he had, when he first saw her, intended to perpetrate with Fanny. (3.7.1)

It's surprising that more characters don't try to ply Joseph with alcohol in order to get him to do what they want. Well, it wouldn't work, anyway, because Joseph isn't having any of it.

The servants were ordered to secure Adams and Joseph as safe as possible, that the "squire might receive no interruption on his design on poor Fanny" […]. (3.9.5)

Once again, someone manages to convince people that Parson Adams is a criminal. Surely, he doesn't look that villainous—but hey, once you put the idea into people's head that someone's up to no good, it does often start to seem like maybe that's true.

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