In his Author’s Preface ,and in Book I, Chapter 1, Fielding has firmly indicated what his over-riding concern in Joseph Andrews is to be. His dominant theme is ‘affectation’. Fielding is careful to discriminate between that variety of affectation which arises from vanity, is often quite unconscious and may be pretty harmless (like, say, Adams’s persuasion that he was himself ‘the greatest of all schoolmasters’, Book III, Chapter 5) though it is often absurd to the onlooker, and that variety which is the outcome of hypocrisy. This kind is calculated in that it deliberately sets out to falsify and deceive, and is therefore always reprehensible and often wicked.
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