Joseph Andrews

write about "chastity" as a theme of joseph andrews ?

Novel Joseph Andrewa writting by Henry fielding

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s his broad hints about Joseph and Fanny’s euphoric wedding night suggest, Fielding has a fundamentally positive attitude toward sex; he does prefer, however, that people’s sexual conduct be in accordance with what they owe to God, each other, and themselves. In the mutual attraction of Joseph and Fanny there is nothing licentious or exploitative, and they demonstrate the virtuousness of their love in their eagerness to undertake a lifetime commitment and in their compliance with the Anglican forms regulating marriage, which require them to delay the event to which they have been looking forward for years. If Fielding approves of Joseph and Fanny, though, he does not take them too seriously; in particular, Joseph’s “male-chastity” is somewhat incongruous given the sexual double-standard, and Fielding is not above playing it for laughs, particularly while the hero is in London. Even militant chastity is vastly preferable, however, to the loveless and predatory sexuality of Lady Booby and those like her: as Martin C. Battestin argues, “Joseph’s chastity is amusing because extreme; but it functions nonetheless as a wholesome antithesis to the fashionable lusts and intrigues of high society.”