Discuss the sexual hipocrasy that runs rampant through the novel "Joseph Andrews" using the character of Mrs. Slipslop as the primary basis for your argument.

Essay by shawnnaUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, March 2003

download word file, 5 pages 1.0

Downloaded 41 times

In Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews, Fielding attempts to parody the situations in society that, to him, appear unjust and inappropriate. One of the characters created to endure these parodies is Mrs. Slipslop, an employee of Lord and Lady Booby. Mrs. Slipslop embodies the traits which Fielding abhors about society. Her inappropriate use of language and her uncontrolled sexual impulses when combined with her undeniably misguided devotion to those of status make her the ideal comedic example of society's wrong doings.

Mrs. Slipslop can best be described as pretentious. This is evident early in the text with her incongruous use of language. Fielding exaggerates this trait with the use of italics in the many conversations involving Mrs. Slipslop, and at times the characters within the novel have commented on her misuse of language as well " 'Madam,' answered Joseph, ' I don't understand your hard words:"(JA.52)

Fielding uses the character if Mrs.

Slipslop as a comedic example of those who are sexually uninhibited, or as Fielding would say " the unvirtuous". In the era that the book was written, values and attitudes toward sexuality were in conflict , and Fielding exaggerates Slipslop's behaviour to draw attention to the sexual hypocrisy of society's value systems. To demonstrate this, Fielding's physical description of Mrs. Slipslop is laced with animal imagery representing sexual tension and aggressions.

" As a hungry tygress, who long had traversed the woods in fruitless search, sees wihin the reach of her claws a lamb, she prepares to leap on her prey; or as a voracious pike, of immense size, surveys through the liquid element, a roach or gudgeon which cannot escape her jaws, opens them wide to swallow the little fish: so did Mrs. Slipslop prepare to lay her violent amourous hands on the poor Joseph". (JA 52)...