Write a critical analysis of the character of Abraham Adams in Fieldings novel “The Adventures of Joseph Andrews”? Why is Parson Adams described as the novels true hero? The novel “The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams” is written by Henry Fielding in the 18th century during the Augustan Age. His novel was the first published full-length of the English author and, and indeed among the first novels in the English language.
Published in 1742 and it is a parody of the novel “Pamela” from Samuel Richardson. At the time the novel was published, the most profound contention that arose between critics was the character of Parson Adams. His personality was carefully developed by Fielding and is markedly the most developed character in the novel. Parson Abraham Adams is described as a radically good albeit naive, man. He is represented as a Samaritan always seeking out the best in people and treating them well.
The good nature of Adams is also his disadvantage because he cannot explain the failings and dishonesties that mankind is prone too, and so sets himself up to be deceived and disappointed. He bears the name of Abraham, one of the most memorable Biblical characters. He was so dedicated to God that he even after much pleading with the Lord for a child, he was commanded to sacrifice his beloved son on an alter. A parallel can be drawn between the Biblical figure and Fielding’s hero on the basis of their excessive good-heartedness and unprecedented trust in the benevolence lying in God’s will imposed on them.
Parson Adams is described as the novels true hero because compared to a normal citizen he is more intelligent:” Mr. Abraham Adams was an excellent Scholar. He was a perfect Master of the Greek and Latin Languages; to which he added a great Share of Knowledge in the Oriental Tongues, and could read and translate French, Italian, and Spanish. He applied many years to most sever Study, and had treasured up a Fund of Learning rarely to be met with in a University”. (65).
The first meeting between Adams and Joseph depends upon Joseph’s similar aptitude for learning compared to similar people his age. After questioning Joseph about several subjects, Adams declares that, “he answer’d much better than Sir Thomas. When we put aside their many similarities we can say that Adams shines a little bit more than his friend Joseph. Because of his goodness and naivety he is represented like the good funny character which the readers adore more.
Abraham always wants to help people and to cure their problems that’s why he get himself in a lot of troubles which are hilarious. Mr. Adams’s objection to Methodism, which is also Fielding’s objection, has to do with its emphasis on faith over charity or good works: he gives his opinion: “that a virtuous and good Turk, or Heathen, are more acceptable in the sight of their Creator, than a vicious and wicked Christian, tho’ his Faith was as perfectly orthodox as St. Paul’s himself. ” His looks helps him to be the more liked character.
Parson is not the typical well-dressed and neat parson that we expect to come across:”He had on a Night-Cap drawn over his Wig, and a short great Coat, which half covered his Cassock; a Dress which, added to something comical enough in his Countenance, composed a Figure likely to attract the Eyes of those who were not over-given to Observation. ” (Chapter XVI) . In fact he is quite contrary to the anticipated ideals. He is a middle-aged man of about fifty years old. Adams is a strong, healthy, and energetic man.
His physical appearance is quite interesting as he has a, “comical” face. Fielding uses the traditional stereotypes to tell his tale. His ability to create an entertaining and intellectually stimulating story that closely resembles reality. That’s why he uses Parson Abraham Adams . He is a stereotype of a person which is so kind that in some way amusingly stupid. Everyone knows characters similar to these. These generic figures make it easier for him to apply a lesson to all of the readers.