Summary and Analysis Book III: Chapter 11



The full impact of the abduction of Fanny now hits Joseph, and he gives passionate vent to his grief, much to the consternation of Parson Adams, still firmly tied to the other bedpost.

Adams lectures Joseph severely on the necessity of summoning reason, patience, and submission to his aid. None of this is of any comfort to Joseph, who simply wants Fanny back in his arms.

Adams never falters in his actions, but when he tries to theorize he loses a relation with reality; fortunately, his own reactions in a similar situation in Book IV, Chapter 8, bear little relation to his Stoic theories, which here miss the mark though they stem from the best of motives. Still, his quotations about the folly of grief are as incongruous as Joseph's quotation is heartfelt and to the point:

Yes, I will bear my sorrows like a man,
But I must also feel them as a man.

Still Adams responds unfavorably; he disapproves of drama, and Macduff's lament (see Macbeth, IV.iii.220-26 for the correct version) passes him by.