Joseph Andrews

Describe Chracter sketch of hero Joseph Andrews in the novel?

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"Joseph Andrews is the main character of the novel Joseph Andrews written by

Henry Fielding. He is shown as son of Gaffar and Gammer Andrews in the expository part of the novel. Excellent cudgel player, Joseph Andrews was an apprentice with Sir Thomas Booby on his shire. He was bird keeper

there. His voice was so musical ‘that it rather allured the birds than terrified them.’ He was soon shifter to the dog-kennel."


In Henry Fielding’s novel Joseph

Andrews, we are presented with a

character that shares a name with

the novel and is assumed to be the

hero of the story. The question

must be raised though, is he truly a

hero. When one thinks of a hero

one usually thinks of a person who

is willing and able to battle against

Fate itself in order to achieve their

ultimate goal. This description

doesn’t really fit Joseph however.

For most of the story it seems like

he is just willing to follow the will

of others without complaint, and

almost every time some ill befalls

him he really doesn’t do much to

avoid it, instead he ends up being

saved time and again by others.

Let’s look towards the end of the

novel where misfortune upon

misfortune seems to befall Joseph.

First, him and Fanny are taken to

court and when they are about to

be sentenced to be exiled from the

parish, Fanny is clearly upset, but

it seems as if Joseph is resigned to

his fate and makes no move to stop

the sentencing, luckily for them

Squire Booby shows up and saves

them. Later when Joseph and

Fanny find out they might be

related, Joseph automatically

accepts the Peddlar’s story and goes

about making plans how he can still

spend his life with Fanny. In fact

the only time we ever see Joseph

react to the circumstances thrust

upon him in any way is when

someone tries to separate him and

Fanny. We see him struggle against

his sister and Squire Booby when

they forbid the marriage, and he

attacks Didapper when he comes on

to Fanny. In the end these actions

seem too little too late, but then

one must remember that this is a

mock-epic, in which case Joseph

would be a mock-epic hero. So, if

that’s the case wouldn’t it go

without saying that the hero should

be almost the exact opposite of

those like Achilles and Odysseus?


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He has a well-built body with symptoms of strength, without the least clumsiness. He has a dignity in and grace in his bearing. He has much knowledge  about religion.