The Eighteenth-Century Novel: Joseph Andrews
Because we are working with such a seminal piece of literature, you will be applying Watts' definition of formal realism to Joseph Andrews, as well as considering how Fielding helped to shape the literary concepts of character, plot, and setting to create plausibility in the genre of the novel.
Create your own thread. Keep responding to it (or editing) as necessary throughout the week to add your ongoing observations of the novel. You are not required to complete this work at one time. In fact, you should consider posting throughout the week so that you can keep your observations ongoing.
The questions and comments below are meant to generate discussion and not to limit it. Please feel free to bring in your own topics and/or questions.
If you need to review definitions of the following literary terms, please locate them in the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms found in the databases of the UMUC Library.
As much as possible post and check back as frequently as you can so that a discussion can be developed.
You need to comment on all of the following areas:
In this thread, discuss how Fielding develops characters in the novel. As you go through the novel, write down your insights into or about the characters.
Choose one character to discuss, but you should tie the character to the development of an idea. For example, using a specific character, explain how the character can represent such issues as male versus female characters, upper versus lower classes, the development of the arc of the character, the plausibility of characters, the use of names and/or dialogue, etc. You can consider the narrator in the novel as a character. Be sure to discuss the character from start to finish, i.e., if you choose Joseph Andrews, you have to discuss him throughout the entire novel, not just the first chapters.
Let’s see if we can determine some sort of working view towards Fielding's use of characters.
Discuss Fielding's use of plot in the novel. For example, you could discuss whether the plot is plausible, or not.
You may have to bring in some discussion of character, for the plot cannot move forward without the characters also moving forward. Be sure to discuss the entirety of the novel.
Focus on Fielding's use of setting in the novel.
Watt notes that it was extremely important for the novel to reflect the contemporary scene of the novelist and the reader.
How does Fielding use the setting to make his novel more plausible to the reader? Are there any places where the novel may be hindered by the setting?