Oliver Goldsmith: The Vicar of Wakefield (2429 words)


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. …

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 28 October 2020.]

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