Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield

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At the end of The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Dr. Charles Primrose, having survived a miraculous series of events—including the apparent resurrection of his daughter—remarks to the reader, “After dinner, as my spirits were exhausted by the alternation of pleasure and pain which they had sustained during the day, I asked permission to withdraw, and leaving the company…as soon as I found myself alone, I poured out my heart in gratitude to the giver of joy as well as of sorrow, and then slept undisturbed till morning” (ed. Coote 196). This sentence sums up the general philosophy of the novel, which continually bounces between “pleasure and pain”, or, more accurately, farce and sentiment. …

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Citation: Grasso, Joshua. "The Vicar of Wakefield". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 July 2018 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8046, accessed 09 June 2023.]

8046 The Vicar of Wakefield 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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