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Ideal Clergy Man – ‘Parson Adam’ or ‘Parson Trulliber’ in Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding

Ideal Clergyman and Fielding

According to Fielding's ideal clergyman must have such characteristics: "Humble, charitable, benevolent, void of envy, void of pride, void of vanity," (p. 283).

Therefore, the Parson Adam or Parson Trulliber who complies with Fielding's demands must be the most learned, strong and intelligent.

Parson Trulliber

Trulliber's vices diminish the role of the clergyman since he is uncouth, haughty, cruel, unchristian, immoral, and vain. His meeting with Parson Adams, a nice clergyman, serves as a vehicle for Fielding's satire of the unkind clergyman. Trulliber's predicament stems from the fact that he is not a clergyman; rather, he is a farmer who, reluctantly, only considers his parishioners' spiritual well-being one day every week.

In "An Apology for the Clergy," Fielding emphasises several points, including the need for clergy to remain focused on spiritual matters and to maintain regular contact with their flocks because "Trulliber is more interested in feeding hogs than in nourishing people spiritually." Trulliber's love of animals, especially hogs, is understandable given that he resembles them in both appearance and demeanour. Fielding expertly reduces Trulliber through the bodily description. READ MORE…