Joseph Andrews By Henry Fielding Summary and Analysis Book III: Chapters 12-13

Summary

The captain carries away the terrified Fanny, reminding her with relish that she will soon be a virgin no more. A passing traveler ignores her anguish, but two armed horsemen appear, one of whom recognizes Fanny. The carriage they are attending arrives, and on the strength of Fanny's entreaties and the support of the horseman, the gentleman — none other than Mr. Peter Pounce, preceding his mistress, Lady Booby, on her return from London — takes Fanny into his carriage. They arrive back at the inn where the poet and the player are berating each other downstairs while Adams and Joseph talk back to back upstairs. Joseph, after a rapturous reunion with Fanny, gives the captain a drubbing he will never forget (the poet and the player once again join forces and share a horse to escape); Adams tidies himself up, Pounce has something to eat, and the innkeeper's wife does her best to make amends for the hostile behavior of her "block-head" husband. Later, they all set out for Booby-Hall, with Adams traveling in the coach with Pounce. But in the course of their conversation it becomes clear that Pounce and the Parson have very different notions of charity; Pounce will admit a disposition toward charity, but not the act itself, and indeed hates the poor as soon as he loses a penny to them. In his smug and selfish wealth, Pounce deeply offends Adams, who jumps out of the carriage and proceeds on foot beside Fanny and Joseph to Booby-Hall.

Analysis

Fielding moves from one episode to the next, openly declaring his manipulation, yet is able, without a sense of strain, to resolve things at the inn where Adams, Joseph, the poet, and the player are pursuing their various lines of argument. He is now collecting all the threads together; the travels of Adams, Joseph, and Fanny are almost over, and the other characters are converging on the Booby estate as Fielding prepares for the final scenes.

Peter Pounce is as avaricious as ever (see Book I, Chapter 10) and more than a little lustful. Yet his worst evil is his selfish and complacent attitude. In the altercation between Adams and Pounce we are again reminded that charity must be actively pursued; Adams' abrupt exit from the carriage is a reassuring reminder that he acts on his beliefs.

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After Adams returns penniless from Pastor Trulliber's, who pays his bills at the inn?




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