Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review | Picaresque Novel
The cover page of ‘Tom Jones’

“I had rather enjoy my own mind than the fortune of another man”.

Tom Jones, Book 12, Chapter 10

‘Tom Jones’ by Henry Fielding is a comic novel with its original tiltle as ‘The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling’. ‘Tom Jones’ was published on 28th February 1749 by Andrew Miller. ‘Tom Jones’ is regarded as the greatest and most influential work by Henry Fielding as it became the best seller in its first year with four editions. The novel is divided into 18 books.

It is much easier to make good men wise, than to make bad men good.

Narrator, Dedication

Introducing Tom Jones

Tom Jones was found ๐Ÿ˜ฏ by Squire Allworthy in the estate of Somerset ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ. He has returned from a business trip ๐Ÿš— and found this abandoned child ๐Ÿ‘ถ on his return. He calls for his servant Mrs. Deborah Wilkins ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿฆฑ to have a look at the baby ๐Ÿคฑ and search for his identity.

In Search of His Parents ๐Ÿง

Mrs. Deborah Wilkins ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿฆฑ searches and doubts Jenny Jones ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆฐ who might have committed the deed. She is the servant of a schoolmaster and his wife. The Allworthys question her of the baby ๐Ÿ‘ถ. She admits that it is her baby but refuses to reveal ๐Ÿ˜ถ who the father is.

No man can be good enough to enable him to neglect the rules of prudence; nor will Virtue herself look beautiful, unless she be bedecked with the outward ornaments of decency and decorum.

Narrator, Book 3, Chapter 7

Mr. Allworthy Decides to Raise the Baby ๐Ÿคฑ

Mr. Allworthy sends Jenny Jones farway ๐Ÿš– where her real identity is hidden. He then handovers the baby to his sister ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Bridget and tells her to raise him. Mr. Allworthy was so kind ๐Ÿค— and at the same time wealthy ๐Ÿ’ธ. He names the child Thomas and calls him Tom.

Bridget Gets Married ๐Ÿ‘ฐ

Bridget gets married ๐Ÿ’ to Captain Blifil who has married for her wealth ๐Ÿ’ฐ. His brother Dr. Blifil had also accompanied him during his marriage but left ๐Ÿš˜ soon as Captain Blifil ๐Ÿ˜ ignored him. Dr. Blifil moves to London and dies soon. While Captain Blifil tries to conspire ๐Ÿ˜ˆ against Tom Jones, afraid ๐Ÿ˜จ that a portion of Allworthy’s wealth ๐Ÿ’ฐ will go to him. But Allworthy refuses to believe him.

Captain Blifil Dies โšฐ๏ธ

Unfortunately, Captain Blifil dies โšฐ๏ธ due to apoplexy. The readers ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™€๏ธ feel comfortable that there is none to disturb the poor Tom. But, Captain Blifil and Bridget have a son ๐Ÿง‘ named Master William Blifil, who seems to follow his father’s path by conspiring against Tom. He is jealous ๐Ÿ˜ฌ and tries to put Tom in trouble ๐Ÿ˜ฉ whenever possible.

Tom as a Youth ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆฑ

“In this instance, life most exactly resembles the stage, since it is often the same person who represents the villain and the heroe; and he who engages your admiration to-day, will probably attract your contempt to-morrow… A single bad act no more constitutes a villain in life, than a single bad part on the stage”.

Narrator, Page 302

Tom grows to be a kind hearted ๐Ÿค— young man just as his guardian Allworthy but he was weak ๐Ÿ˜‰in his morals. He grows to be a lusty casanova๐Ÿคช. He befriends ๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›the servants more than other people of the area. The gamekeeper Black George is his closest friend.

Tom Jones โค๏ธ Molly Seagrim

Tom Jones shares a relationship ๐Ÿ˜˜ with Molly Seagrim, the second daughter and the local beauty ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿฆฑ of Black George. Molly becomes pregnant ๐Ÿคฐwhich Tom believes is from him. Later he comes to know that she had multiple relationships ๐Ÿ™„ and leaves her.

Tom Jones โค๏ธ Sophia Western

Tom Jones|Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review | Picaresque Novel
Tom Jones and Sophia Western

Tom Jones then falls in love ๐Ÿ˜ with Sophia Western, the wealthy ๐Ÿ’ธ and pretty daughter of Squire Western. Sophia truly loves him. While her aunt, Miss Western mistakes ๐Ÿ˜Š her love for Tom to be for Master Blifil, the Westerns approve ๐Ÿค of their love. But as they come to know of the truth ๐Ÿ˜ฎ that Sophia loves Tom, Western locks ๐Ÿ” her up in her room ๐Ÿšช for falling in love with the penniless and bastard ๐Ÿ˜ Tom Jones.

Squire Allworthy Falls Ill ๐Ÿค’

“I am convinced, my child, that you have much goodness, generosity, and honour, in your temper: if you will add prudence and religion to these, you must be happy”.

Mr. Allworthy, Book 5, Chapter 7
Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review | Picaresque Novel
Tom Jones and Squire Allworthy

As Squire Allworthy falls ill ๐Ÿค’, he distributes his wealth among his family members with a good proportion โ˜บ๏ธ for Tom Jones too. This makes Master Blifil jealous ๐Ÿ˜ฌ. Tom is very concerned ๐Ÿ˜” about the health of Allworthy and doesn’t care ๐Ÿ˜’ about the money ๐Ÿ’ท or wealth. Surprisingly, Allworthy recovers and he lives ๐Ÿค—. But, his sister Bridget dies.

Master Blifil’s Plot

Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Bildungsroman
Master Blifil of the novel ‘Tom Jones’

Tom Jones drinks ๐Ÿบ, sings ๐ŸŽถ and celebrates ๐ŸŽ‰ as Allworthy regains his health. Master Blifil takes this opportunity and plots a fight ๐Ÿคผโ€โ™‚๏ธ with Tom. Later Blifil informs Allworthy that he had drunk ๐Ÿฅƒ and celebrated ๐ŸŽŠ welcoming his death. Allworthy gets angry ๐Ÿ˜ก and drives out Tom of the estate.

Will Sophia Accept to Marry Blifil?

“Your bodies, and not your brains, are stronger than ours. Believe me, it is well for you that you are able to beat us, or such is the superiority of our understanding, we should make all of you what the brave, and witty, and polite are already – our slaves”.

Mrs. Western, Page 257

Sophia is encouraged ๐Ÿค— to marry Master Blifil by Miss Western. But Sophia cannot accept to marry him and finds him disgusting. The situation grows worse ๐Ÿ˜ข as Tom is expelled ๐Ÿ˜ถ from the estate. As Tom leaves the estate โ˜น๏ธ and begins his journey, Sophia too leaves her house in a hope ๐Ÿ˜” of meeting him sooner accompanied by her maid Mrs. Honour.

Love โ€ฆ is the child of love only; โ€ฆ to love the creature who we are assured hates us is not in human nature.

Mr. Allworthy, Book 17, Chapter 3

Tom Jones: The Rogue

Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Picaresque Novel |Bildungsroman |
Tom Jones after leaving Somerset

“Philosophy elevates and steels the mind, Christianity softens and sweetens it. The former makes us the objects of human admiration, the latter of Divine love”.

The Man of the Hill, Book 8, Chapter 13

The rogue life of Tom Jones begins in this aimless journey ๐Ÿ™ƒ. His adventures start from Britain and end up in London. On his journey ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ, he meets a man named Patridge. Partridge was banished from the town as he was believed to be Tom’s father ๐Ÿ˜ฏ. But he assures that he is not his father and joins him ๐Ÿ˜—in the journey as his companion to make him believe in the fact.

“Your religion … serves you only for an excuse for your faults, but is no incentive to your virtue. Can any man who is really a Christian abstain from relieving one of his brethren in such a miserable condition?”

Tom Jones, Book 12, Chapter 4

Tom with Mrs. Waters

Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Picaresque Novel |Bildungsroman
Tom Jones and Mrs. Waters

In the midst of the journey, Tom rescues a woman ๐Ÿ‘ฉ named Mrs. Waters from gangsters and takes her to an inn. They make love and spend the night ๐ŸŒƒ together in the inn. This time, a man named Mr. Fitzpatrick comes to the inn in search ๐Ÿง of his wife Mrs. Fitzpatrick. He burst into Tom’s room ๐Ÿšช mistaking his wife to be Mrs. Waters who later leaves.

Sophia Is Aware of his Night with Mrs. Waters ๐Ÿ˜จ

Fortel me that some tender maid, whose grandmother is not yet born, hereafter, when, under the fictitious name of Sophia, she reads the real worth which once existed in my Charlotte, shall, from her sympathetic breast, send forth a heaving sigh.

Narrator, Page 607
Mrs. Waters of the novel, ‘Tom Jones’

Sophia, who was in search ๐Ÿ”Ž of Tom Jones arrives at the inn and is shocked ๐Ÿ˜ฒ to hear that he has spent his night with Mrs. Waters. It was Mr. Fitzpatrick who unconsciously gave her the news. She is heartbroken ๐Ÿ’” hearing this. Sofia, who has left her house and family for his love, is now in the streets hearing that her beloved is making love with another woman ๐Ÿ˜จ. What can be more disastrous than this ๐Ÿ˜ฐ?

Sophia Stays with Lady Bellaston

“My love is not of that base kind which seeks its own satisfaction at the expense of what is most dear to its object. I would sacrifice everything to the possession of my Sophia, but Sophia herself”.

Tom Jones, Book 13, Chapter 7

Sophia then moves out of the inn ๐Ÿฌ with her cousin, Mrs. Fitzpatrick to London. She then takes shelter ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ under Lady Bellaston as she cannot return to her house. Tom and Patridge go in search ๐Ÿ”Ž of Sophia and find that she lives with Lady Bellaston . Tom Jones purposefully makes Lady Bellaston fall in love ๐Ÿ’• with him to meet Sophia. Lady Bellaston and Tom Jones share a physical relationship ๐Ÿ’‹. He then meets Sophia and confesses ๐Ÿ’– his love for her.

“Do you fancy yourself capable of so entirely persuading me out of my senses, that I should deliver my whole fortune into your power, in order to enable you to support your pleasure at my expense?”

Lady Bellaston, Book 15, Chapter 9

Lady Bellaston and Lord Fellamar ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Lady Bellaston had fallen in love ๐Ÿ’“ with Tom. At the same time, Lord Fellamar a socialite in London had fallen in love with Sophia. The revengeful Lady Bellaston plots with Lord Fellamer to rape ๐Ÿ™ Sophia so as to compel her into this marriage with no other option ๐Ÿ˜ฉ. But, fortunately her father Squire Western arrives at the moment and saves her ๐Ÿ˜Œ. He again forces her to accept Blifil as her husband ๐Ÿ˜ฃ.

Tom Jones is Arrested

Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Picaresque Novel |Bildungsroman
Tom Jones and Patridge

Tom gets arrested for injuring ๐Ÿ”ช Mr. Fitzpatrick in a duel. It is Patridge who helps ๐Ÿ˜Œ him during his imprisonment. Even though this scared ๐Ÿ˜ฑ him at first, it led to the revelation of his birth secret. He was initially in a miserable condition ๐Ÿ˜ต when he heard that Mrs. Waters was Jenny Jones, his supposed mother. He was scared and frightened ๐Ÿฅบ that he committed incest. But Mrs. Waters arrives and reveals who Tom Jones is.

Who is Actually Tom?

Tom is the son ๐Ÿง” of Allworthy’s sister, Bridget from a schoolmaster. She had hidden this secret but revealed it in a letter โœ‰๏ธ before her death which was destroyed ๐Ÿ’ฅ by Blifil. Tom Jones was the nephew of Allworthy and the half-brother of Master Blifil.

No Obstructionsโ€ฆ โ˜บ๏ธ

Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Picaresque Novel
Tom Jones and Sophia Western

As the parentage of Tom Jones is revealed, there is nothing โ˜บ๏ธ that hinders the marriage of Sophia and Tom. Their marriage ๐Ÿ’’ is held with the blessings ๐Ÿค— of Squire Western and Squire Allworthy. Tom has become loyal to Sophia as he has rescued from committing incest. Sophia gives birth to two children, a son ๐Ÿง’๐Ÿผ and a daughter ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿผ.

“I am not a hardened sinner; I thank Heaven I have had time to reflect on my past life, where, though I cannot charge myself with any gross villainy, yet I can discern follies and vices too sufficient to repent and be ashamed of; follies which have been attended with dreadful consequences to myself, and have brought me to the brink of destruction”.

Tom Jones, Page 853
Tom Jones |Henry Fielding |Inclined Scorpio |Book Review |Picaresque Novel
Tom Jones, the Picaro

If there are men who cannot feel the delight of giving happiness to others, I sincerely pity them, as they are incapable of tasting what is, in my opinion, a greater honour, a higher interest, and a sweeter pleasure, than the ambitious, the avaricious, or the voluptuous man can ever obtain.

Tom Jones, Page 644

Tom Jones is regarded as one of the earliest English novels. It is also a bildungsroman and picaresque novel. Many critics have criticised the work as it has openly handled the matter of sex which was also novel in those times. The book was adapted to a movie ‘Tom Jones’ starring Albert Finney as Tom in 1963 written by John Osborne and directed by Tony Richardson.

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Naeema Jaleel

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1 Comment


Kunal Kathuria · August 15, 2021 at 1:50 am

Pure class. Wow. Wish is to read every blog on your site. Exemplary work here

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