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Fielding Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Hypocrisy and Vanity in Joseph Andrews

In his novel, Joseph Andrews, Henry Fielding uses various type characters to create a satire on the vices of men, finding that, “The only source of the true Ridiculous…is affectation,” which “proceeds from one of these two causes, vanity or hypocrisy…” (Fielding 10). These two chief vices reveal themselves through the words, actions, and lifestyles of several of Fielding’s characters, some in more harmless forms than others, and often coming hand in hand. A shining example of hypocrisy is displayed while Mr. Adams is travelling with a gentleman who gives a bold discourse on courage and “the infamy of not being ready at all times to sacrifice our lives to our country.” During his lecture, the screams of a woman…