Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakeﬁeld ! As I havenʼt read anything from Goldsmith before, I took the novel quite seriously
and I wanted to read it ﬁrst without the introduction not to have any other opinion in my mind. I liked the language and it was astonishing how fast the plot was going especially in the beginning. Goldsmithʼs tone of voice was ﬁrst funny rather then satirical for me. Towards the end I realized then that he must be joking. From a idillic, amusing reading he made me to think, why is now that? What is his purpose? Or is it just a “mistake” from the second half of the book and now I am reading another novel? Or I should just wait and trust the rule of the period and sentimental novels that everything will be ﬁne at the end. ! The hilarious ending with everyone married made a point. It evoked in me some of the american romantic ﬁlms or some Bollywood movies where very loose ends are conveniently tied up just to go home with a good feeling at the end of the movie. ! After many humorous chapters the novel turns to some kind of melodrama and after tragedies and misfortunes it raises the question of whether it is a sentimental novel or a satire. Or is is a satire of a sentimental novel? ! I have read then the Introduction where I have read under Sentiment versus Satire just how much are we supposed to trust the narration of Rev. Primrose “even from the opening pages of the volume, he reveals himself wildly inconsistent, illogical and at worst completely hypocritical?” Then I realized, there is an obvious satire of the church and some social satire of the class differences, social superiority. Although I see Primrose as a clumsy priest, preaching a lot, not a representation of the whole system through him. ! If I am thinking about other novels from that time and comparing them, one would this a satire of Tom Jones, Pamela or any other sentimental novel? I would ask, was
rather say, Goldsmithʼs intent was to parody a cliche. It is not all along...
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