Compare the hypocrisy of Lady Booby and Mrs. Slipslop in Joseph Andrews.

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Lady Booby and Mrs. Slipslop are both hypocrites, but their hypocrisy is expressed differently because of their different social classes. As an upper class woman, Lady Booby is supposed to be morally upright and respectable, but her passionate lust for Joseph makes her anything but. Mrs. Slipslop is also held to some moral standards as a lady's maid, but she, too, lusts after Joseph although she will quickly turn her desire to other men.

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In Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding, Lady Booby and her maid Mrs. Slipslop are both hypocrites to the extreme, but the difference in their social classes leads them to express their hypocrisy in different ways.

Lady Booby is supposed to be a well-bred, proper upper-class lady with all the refinement to go with her status. Yet she is passionately lustful toward the much younger Joseph Andrews, so much so that she chases him unmercifully, tempts him to give in to her advances, and is even willing to marry him if that's what it takes to win him (after her husband dies). When she begins her passionate pursuit of Joseph, her husband is still alive, so she is a hypocrite in her unfaithfulness toward him, but she is also hypocritical as she acts the part of a wealthy, respectable woman. She may be wealthy, but she is not at all respectable. Lady Booby further claims that she despises and detests her passions, but apparently she doesn't despise and detest them enough to put them in their proper place and overcome them. Her words fail to match her actions, again making her a hypocrite in a major way.

Mrs. Slipslop, on the other hand, has no pretensions about being upper class. She is a lady's maid, and that is all she will ever be. Yet even lady's maids are expected to behave with a moral decorum, but Mrs. Slipslop definitely does not. She, too, is passionately lustful toward Joseph Andrews. The manners and propriety of her station are quickly set aside as she chases Joseph, making her a hypocrite. Of course, Mrs. Slipslop isn't quite so picky as Lady Booby. The former will settle for another man just as well when it comes to her physical desires. Joseph is nice, but if he won't, then she will take whom she can get. Further, Mrs. Slipslop's hypocrisy becomes ridiculous (and hilarious) as she pretends to be much smarter and better educated than she actually is and ends up sounding silly. She gets words wrong all the time, even as she puts on airs like she knows what she's talking about. She is, for instance, “confidous” about her mistress' actions instead of “confident.”

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