“Joseph Andrews” as a Picaresque Novel
What is a picaresque novel? The term picaresque has been derived from the Spanish word picaro which means a rogue or a villain. Originally, a type of romance that dealt with rogues or villains was called picaresque. A picaresque novel presented , in an extravagant style, a series of adventures , and misadventures , mostly on the highways . The earliest examples of the picaresque novel are Lizaritle de Tormes and Guzman de Alfarachi. Fielding was considerably influenced by Gil Blass and Don Quixote. In fact there are marked resemblance between Joseph Andrews and Don Quixote. Parson Adam is clearly a Quixotic figure. The Picaresque element in the novel is introduced in Book 1 chapter 10 with Joseph setting out on his journey in the moonlight. From here onwards to the end of Book 111, it follows the picaresque tradition closely. Joseph soon gets robbed and is thrown into a ditch , stripped and half dead. The stage – coach episode provides Fielding with an opportunity to expose their hypocrisy and callousness of the respected people. Joseph and Parson Adams run into the picaresque journey that began with satirical exposure of the society assumes a partially humors tone. In a part of the book 1 and the middle two Books where the picaresque motif is followed, Fielding brings his major characters in contact with different strata of society- country squires, divines and philosophers , lawyers and surgeons , landladies , beggars and highway men- and exposes the contemporary social evils as well as human follies and foibles of a more general nature. Finally , the rambling or destructive narrative of Joseph Andrews also enforces the picaresque motif of the novel. Fielding employs here a very lose plot, for his purpose is the depiction of the society and the plot is not given much importance.
How does Fielding as a satirist...
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