Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews
1. INTRODUCTION The novel is a literary gender which was developed late, firstly in the Modern Ages achieving its maturity in the 19th century, although it has its precedents in earlier periods, for example in the Antiquity and the Oriental literatures. According to Wikipedia: “A novel is a long prose narrative that describes fictional characters and events in the form of a sequential story, usually. The genre has historical roots in the fields of medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella.
The latter, an Italian word used to describe short stories, supplied the present generic English term in the 18th century”. (Wikipedia) So, Henry Fielding was born in a period in which the novel was not fully developed, and he could be considered as a pioneer of this genre. His first major novel was “The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and his friend, Mr. Abraham Adams”, published in 1742. The novel was a satire of the Samuel Richardson’s novel “Pamela” as a continuation of “Shamela”, a pamphlet which was a parody of “Pamela”.
But the difference between “Shamela” and “Joseph Andews” lies in the parody, meanwhile “Shamela” is a parody, “Joseph Andrews” started as a parody but finally the novel turned into an independent work, the characters and plot have their own history. The following and most famous work of Henry Fielding was “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling”, published in 1749. In this novel, Fielding expresses a lot of things of his own life and things of the situation of England in that moment.
But, on the contrary of which is thought, “Tom Jones” is not an historical novel in the sense of express a lot of things of the context of Great Britain (for example, the Jacobite Revolution in which Fielding was very interested, is only named two times in the book, which makes the reader set the novel in a context and a specific period but do not try to tell all the story of England), but in the sense of creating “histories” of its characters, Fielding was an innovator with this structure.
So the novel is considered an historical novel but not in the sense in which most people understand it. Henry Fielding had a lot of works, novels and plays. But the purpose of this essay is to make a comparison between the two novels named before, “Tom Jones” and “Joseph Andrews”, focusing on their structure in which will be analyzed the characters, and the style of the two novels trying to find the similarities and the differences. 2. A COMPARISON OF THE STRUCTURE IN TOM JONES AND JOSEPH ANDREWS 3. 1. CHARACTERS
Although, there are a lot of characters in both novels, this essay is going to focus on the most important characters such as Tom Jones, Sophia Western and Allworthy in “Tom Jones”, and Joseph Andrews, Fanny, and Parson Adams in “Joseph Andrews”. Tom Jones is the main character of the novel “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling”. And Joseph Andrews is the main character of the novel “The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and his friend, Mrs. Abraham Adams”. As main characters they have many things in common. For example, at first, it was believed that Tom Jones was the son of Jenny Jones, so he was “adopted” by Mr.
Allworthy and he was treated like a boy of the lower class, but finally, he discovered that he was the son of Bridget Allworthy, and his uncle, Mr. Allworthy named him heir of all his fortune. In “Joseph Andrews” was something similar. At first, it was believed that Joseph was the son of Mr. Gaffer Andrews and Mrs. Gamer Andrews who also belonged to the lower class, but finally, Joseph Andrews discovered that he is the son of a gentleman called Mr. Wilson. But a difference between Tom and Joseph is how they deal with women.
Joseph was pursued by Lady Booby and he rejected her and left her house in which he was working as a servant. He travelled to his home again and he met with Fanny, a girl who he was in love with. But Tom had many affairs with women, for instance, with Molly Seagrim, and after confessing his feelings to Sophia Western (who was deeply in love with him), Tom began an affair with Lady Bellaston and Mrs. Waters. Anyway, Tom Jones is gentleman who always tries to treat women with respect. Tom also treats women with the utmost respect, obliging their desire to be courted by pretending to be the seducer even when they are seducing him.
Tom refuses to abandon Molly for Sophia and is plagued by his obligations to Lady Bellaston. Nonetheless, Tom’s refusal of the tempting marriage proposal of Arabella Hunt—whose last name underscores the fact that Tom is hunted more often than he is the hunter—indicates that he has mended his wild ways and is ready to become Sophia’s husband. Tom’s gallantry reveals itself in his relationships with men as well as women, however. This spirit is evident in Tom’s insistence on paying the drinking bill for the army men at Bristol, and in his gallant defense of himself in the duel. Sparknotes) On the contrary, Joseph Andrews tries to be a gentleman but he is not. And Joseph is, as C. J. Rawson has noticed, something of a parody of a gentleman rather than a gentleman. It is really a distinction between nature and nurture, for Joseph is born a real gentleman (without knowing it) but does not quite manage to carry himself like one: he has “the most perfect Neatness in his Dress, and an Air, which to those who have not seen many Noblemen, would give an Idea of Nobility” (38-39; 1, 8).
But those who have seen many noblemen would, presumably, not be deceived by such an appearance. (Varey) Anyway, although Joseph Andrews is not a real gentleman “in his manner”, he is “unaffected”, “honest”, and “candid” (Varey). In “Tom Jones”, we find the character of Sophia Western who is the other main character in the novel. She is the person in who Fielding shows the virtue of the innocence. But, although she is like a delicate girl and innocent, she faces her father and her aunt because she loves Tom and she does not want to marry Bilfil.
Sophia is the essence of womanhood in the novel. She is very honest and obedient in the novel but she also has a sense of independence towards her father’s wishes. After she and Tom are lovers and Tom is extradited from the town Sophia is willing to go against her father’s order to stay and marry Blifil and she leaves the town to go and find Jones. Although Sophia is very honest and loving she does not think like Jones. She is not dedicated like Jones. She puts her personal interest before the welfare of others. The History of Tom Jones) In “Joseph Andrews”, we find the character of Sophia in “Tom Jones”, Fanny she is the girl who is in love with Joseph and she has a lot of similarities with Sophia, both of them are innocents and sensitive, but they fight for their love. She has sensibility, sweetness, and gentility; in short, she is the perfect object for Joseph’s love, and the way in which she immediately takes to the road in search of Joseph after hearing of his plight testifies that she too has a depth of feeling all too rare in this novel.
Yet she also possesses a deep sense of modesty; and, in all honesty, one must admit that Fanny is a little too perfect. But part of her charm is in the way Fielding uses her in his comic contrasts. (Cliffnotes) Finally, the last character of “Tom Jones” which will be analyzed is Mr. Allworthy. The reader only has to read the last name of this character to realize how he is, and how he is going to act along the novel. Allworthy is the person who takes Tom Jones and “adopts” him when he knew that Tom Jones’ mother commit a sin being pregnant of a man and not marrying with him.
He is the protector of Tom Jones; he is like an ideal man: He is intelligent, virtuous, charitable, compassionate and cautious. Tom is good, generous and honest, but he has a lack of caution and a faith to use it as an obstacle to the temptations of the flesh to be like Mr. Allworthy. But in “Joseph Andrews” we find Parson Abraham Adams. He is who leads Joseph in the adventures. Although he is a little bit “dreamer”, he is the character which set the moral basis in the novel. Adams is a very good man and yet a very human man; he has his head in the clouds and although his feet are on the ground, they are usually in puddles.
Comic though he is, he is the firm pivot of the novel’s moral influence. It is his belief in charitable action which distinguishes him as a parson from such hypocritical boors as Trulliber. Like Joseph and Fanny, he acts on his feelings, and it is because of this affinity that he is such a fine guardian and guide to the young pair. (Cliffnotes) 2. 2 STRUCTURE / STYLE Henry Fielding was known for his style of writing. In “Tom Jones” and “Joseph Andrews”, he represents the virtues, and he uses the satire.
According to the structure, “Joseph Andrews” has a lot of picaresque: the action takes place on the road and in inns. And the most of the events, in which Joseph or Adams are involved, are independent from each other. Fielding introduces such events, and the stories between the main story, to underline and satirize the selfish and hypocritical behavior which is common in all the classes of the society. Fielding creates a lot of characters of all types, from the lower class and upper class such as aristocrats, landowners, clergies, doctors, lawyers, actors, drivers and innkeepers.
In Joseph Andrews characters of inferior rank and manners are numerous. […] The list includes more innkeepers, an hostler or two, a coachman, and various rustics. His portrayal of these “inferior” characters and their conversation shows Fielding’s familiarity with the lower classes and their speech, which he insists is as important to the novelist as a knowledge of “upper life”. (Bissel: 69) The structure of “Tom Jones” is very similar to “Joseph Andrews”, but it is a novel larger, which includes evocations of the life in the land and scenes of the London life.
In the preface of “Joseph Andrews”, Fielding notes that he sees the novel as an “epic poem in a mocking tone and prose”. The epic poem represented a narrative way renowned for the tradition in which the author could inspire himself, without fear of the critics, when he wanted to create a new kind of literary work. “Tom Jones” is a novel extraordinary good planed. It is supported in the structure of the epic-poem: a central action which moves forward with regular steps to a final target and of which events contribute in some way to the whole narration.
Tom Jones, as a new Ulysses, he sees him forced to leave his home, and after a lot of adventures which polish his personality and put his qualities down, finally he comes back to his home to meet with his “Penelope”, the faithful Sophia Western. The period of adventures reminds a lot to the picaresque atmosphere of “Joseph Andrews” and, as in this one, the war deeds take place in inns. The influence of Cervantes in “Joseph Andrews” is obvious and the author himself admits it. Parson Adams and Joseph Andrews, as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, go through the paths and share adventures which are told with humor. More obvious than any of these, the influence of Cervantes appears not only in the resemblance between Don Quixote and Parson Adams, but also in a number of similarities in manner and incident. (Battestin) Adams and Don Quixote are characters, who due to their idealism lose contact with the reality; both of them assume the good intentions of the different characters they meet and that is the reason why all people trick him. As Adams looks like Don Quixote, Joseph Andrews looks like Sancho Panza. There are some similarities between them.
Sancho represents the realism and Joseph personifies an extreme idealism almost grotesque. Sancho is a character who develops along the novel. At first, he is the rational character and Don Quixote is crazy, but finally it is to the contrary and Sancho goes crazy. And Joseph also develops. At first, he seems like a ridiculous character and without personality, but along the novel he leaves of being the parody of Pamela and he turns into a character with personality and own identity who matures and starts to realized of the reality that is around them.
At the end, he turns into a character which has a more realistic vision of the world. In “Tom Jones”, the main character with the same name is the version of Don Quixote and he has the services of his own Sancho Panza who is represented in the character of Partridge, the ex-teacher of the school, victim of the destiny, who, as Tom Jones, has been exiled because of a crime which he did not commit. Of course, the humor is present along the novel and it is one of the bases of it.
There are characters really hilarious such as Partridge, the servant of Tom Jones, (as it has been already said, the Sancho Panza of Tom Jones). He is always making Tom losing the patience with his plenty of verbosity and his never ending Latin cites. Another example is the Mr. Western, Sophia’s father, a mixed of bad manners, little drunk and fan of the hunting, who is responsible of many of the funniest scenes of the novel. The ability of Fielding for the satire never ends. He satirizes all the social classes, they all come off badly and there is not any character hich is not satirized. “Tom Jones” is a novel really modern. Fielding knew how to represent the double moral of the human beings, the inevitable tendency to the contradiction and the debility about the temptation; the heroes of this story give in to reprehensible impulses (at least from the point of view of the moral of that period), and their behavior is not always as people could expect. Fielding shows the inconstancy of the soul through the funny adventures, but with a background of clever satire far from negligible.
Moreover, the fact that the women of this story are the model of behavior and being judged with a very advance look is very relevant. The tutor of Tom, Mr. Allworthy (whose last name shows how he is), put wisely in balance the behavior of the young’s mother, whom he accuses of have a baby without husband; additionally, he convinces Sophia’s father to allow her daughter of getting married with the person who she believes is the best. The aunt of Sophia faces his brother to defend the social position of the woman as a member of the society, with the same rights and duties as men.
It is vital to appreciate the limited role that Fielding gives to burlesque; he is attempting to describe the real nature of comedy, just as Joseph Andrews will attempt to discover the real nature of everyone and everything. In linking himself with Hogarth, the “comic history” painter whose works are in the “exactest copying of nature,” Fielding presents an argument later echoed by Henry James: “The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.
When it relinquishes this attempt, the same attempt that we see on the canvas of the painter, it will have arrived at a very strange pass” (“The Art of Fiction,” 1884). (Cliffnotes) 3. CONCLUSION In summary, as it has been shown in this essay, “Tom Jones” and “Joseph Andrews” have many similarities. Fielding reproduces the same moral and virtuous style in both of them. He makes the main characters with similar personalities such as Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews, or Sophia Western and Fanny.
In the style, the reader can see how Fielding tried to recreate in his novels (a part of the influence of the classical literature such as “The Odyssey”), the influence of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”, and the introduction of the picaresque in his novels. At first, it was believed that “Joseph Andrews” was inspired in “Don Quixote”, but the fact is that “Tom Jones” has a lot of that picaresque and the role plays of the main characters as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. And of course, in both of them, the reader can find lots of moral and satire.
In addition to the fact that “Joseph Andrews” started as a parody of Pamela, it became as an independent novel and finally it was a novel with personality and different stories. It became in a critic, a satire of the social classes and the society in general of his time, as “Tom Jones”, which was considered as an historical novel, but not because of the references to the History, but to the creation of histories between the characters and the similarities between them and the reality. 4. WORKS CITED Bissel, Frederick Olds.
Fielding’s Theory of the Novel. New York: Cooper Square Publishers Inc. , 1933. Print. Compton, Neil. Henry Fielding Tom Jones. A Casebook. Macmillan, 1970. Print. Inserni, . “Primary Characters:. ” “The History of Tom Jones” Analysis of Characters. Blogger, 13 Sep 2011. Web. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. Johnson, Maurice. Fielding’s Art of Fiction. Eleven Essays on Shamela, Joseph Andrews, Tom Jones and Amelia. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1969. Print. “Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding. ” Cliffnotes.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Web. 21 Mar 2013. The Moral Basis of Fielding’s Art. A Study of Joseph Andrews. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1959. Print. “Tom Jones (Novela). ” Wikipedia. La Enciclopedia Libre. Wikipedia Commons, 12 Mar 2013. Web. 21 Mar 2013. Varey, Simon. Joseph Andrews. A Satire of Modern Times. G. K. Hall ; Co. , 1990. Print. Withington, Keri. “Character analysis: Joseph Andrews, by Henry Fielding. ” Helium. Where Knowledge Rules. Helium Inc. , 05 May 2007. Web. 21 Mar 2013.