Linguistic and Philosophical Features of Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones

Hosni Mostafa El-daly


Henry Fielding was one of the great novelists of the 18th century. Today, he is universally acknowledged as a major figure in the development of the novel. His literacy works have been evaluated by many critics. He proved exceptionally controversial and his reputation has variously soared and crashed in the course of three centuries. This study, first, attempts to scrutinize and perfectly judge the real value, essential nature and intrinsic aspects of Fielding’s two classics, Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones. It is claimed that on examining the works of Henry Fielding, concentration should be given to exploring the extent of the foreign influence on his works. Some critics are of the opinion that they are not incorporated within the framework of the picaresque novels. This study underscores the picaresque elements in the two classics, and stresses the similarities and points of resemblance between the English and Spanish picaresque novels. Second, this study examines the various stylistic features of Fielding’s narrative technique, and his use of satire to discuss important concepts such as chastity and charity. Third, it attempts to show Fielding’s philosophy of human nature, and to what extent his writing unfolds the basic philosophical characteristics of the 18th century lines of thinking. It concludes, among other things, that no narrative devices are worked out haphazardly or merely for amusement; rather, they are used for both didactic and artistic purposes. In this sense, then, the mark of shame bestowed by earlier critics on Fielding as intrusive narrator is eliminated on the account that his presence within the text is directed for teaching purposes. Goodness in his philosophy consists of the twin virtues of charity and chastity, and the latter is a symbol of the national control of passion.

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