Literature Study GuidesJoseph AndrewsBook 2 Chapters 6 9 Summary

Joseph Andrews | Study Guide

Henry Fielding

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Joseph Andrews | Book 2, Chapters 6–9 | Summary



Book 2, Chapter 6

The lady telling Leonora's story says she completely puts aside propriety, becoming Bellarmine's nurse while she practically lived in his apartment. After Bellarmine recovers, he keeps his promise to ask for Leonora's hand in marriage. He expects her father to settle a portion of his fortune on the couple. The father refuses, and Bellarmine returns to France because he has no money of his own. Leonora then retires as a recluse to the house the storyteller has already pointed out. Horatio ends up doing very well in business and making a fortune, but he never marries.

Book 2, Chapter 7

Joseph Andrews puts his head out the coach window and sees that Parson Adams is walking along with his crabstick, apparently having forgotten once again about his horse at the inn. When the coachman tries to catch up with him, he goes faster and puts more distance between them as a lark. Three miles ahead, he runs into a man who is hunting. As they begin talking, the man shows himself to be patriotic in the extreme, saying anyone who would not die for his country should be hanged.

Book 2, Chapter 8

Parson Adams is impressed with the man's honorable nature and relays how he himself never committed a dishonest act to advance in his profession. For example, he once lost his curacy (position as a curate or clergy in charge of a parish) for refusing to encourage his nephew, an alderman, to support the rector's candidate. Adams later encouraged his nephew to help Sir Thomas Booby get elected, since he thought he was a good man. Sir Thomas offered Adams a living, but then Lady Booby gave the post to a different man. Now that both Adams's nephew and Sir Thomas are dead, the parson says he is no longer "a man of consequence."

Book 2, Chapter 9

The hunter picks up his original subject of valor, saying he disinherited his nephew because he would not exchange his commission to fight in the West Indies. As they continue walking, they hear a woman shrieking. Parson Adams, brandishing his crabstick, runs toward the sound while the patriot holds back, in fear for his life. The parson finds a woman on the ground, struggling with her would-be rapist. The two men begin boxing, and Adams knocks the man out. The woman tells Adams she was on her way to London when the man offered to walk with her to the nearest inn. But then he attacked her when she spurned his sexual advances.


The motif of the deceptiveness of appearances continues through Book 2, Chapters 6 through 11. In Chapter 6, the lady in the stagecoach finishes Leonora's story, in which she realizes that her new lover is much less in love with her than he is with her father's money. Since her father refuses to give her a dowry, Bellarmine abandons her. Meanwhile, Horatio, of modest means, becomes a rich man in an unexpected case of situational irony (in which what happens is the opposite of what is expected to happen). Because she does not have the ability to see beneath the surface of appearances, Leonora loses two suitors and ends up alone. Through her excessive vanity—wishing to be well thought of and admired for her beauty—she loses both suitors and ends up unhappy and alone, not to mention disgraced.

When the scene changes and the narrator checks in on Parson Adams, the reader finds him walking along with a huntsman who claims to be a patriot. This man is extremely critical of anyone who would hesitate to defend their country. The parson takes the huntsman at face value, assuming he is honorable, and to demonstrate his own virtue, Adams tells this man true stories about how he has never used his office for personal gain nor committed a dishonorable act to obtain money or status. When the two men hear the cries of a woman in trouble, the huntsman immediately bolts. Thus he is shown to be the worst kind of hypocrite, covering up his own cowardice by projecting it onto other people. He runs away rather than help, and Adams, a truly brave man, immediately jumps in to be of service. In this episode, Adams is the counterpoint to the hypocrite, driving home the object lesson for the reader.

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