Narrative and Narrator: An Analysis of Joseph Andrews Essay

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Narrative and Narrator: An Analysis of Joseph Andrews As the novel was coalescing into a distinct form of literary expression, Henry Fielding introduced a dynamic relationship between the reader and the text by developing the role of the narrator and the narrator's responsibility in shaping the overall structure of the work. His narrative creation would become a tradition explored by modern writers. By establishing the narrator as an intermediary, the narrator was free to create and comment upon characters, actions, and situations. Fielding could conceal his ideas with metaphors and fictional examples as well as with the narrator himself. Though some have criticized Fielding's work for lacking a definitive narrative…show more content…
While it may be impossible to determine the authentic intentions of Fielding, the ideological agenda of the narrator can be examined as it becomes the focus of the work. Fielding stresses an element of self discovery or self reflexivity through the narrator. Knitted into the fictional framework of the novel is an open discussion between reader and narrator. Usually placed at the beginning of each Book, the narrator discusses topics including biographies, the purpose of nobility, and the division of chapters in books (Fielding 14, 70, 145). The narrator uses such commentary as a "means of de-mystification and an exercise in reflection and self awareness" (Gossman 308). These digressions are designed to make the reader conscious of the act of reading. "The narrator gives us not only a story to read, but also a lecture on how to read and interpret his novel" (Bartschi 70). The narrator posits his work within a rich and wide literary tradition and will not allow the reader to confuse it with reality. Reality does influence and create fiction, but fiction remains separate. Being the keen observer though, the narrator does connect his fictional tale to the world of actual experience. "These are Pictures which must be, I believe, known; I declare
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