“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.
Introducing Tom Jones
Tom Jones was found 😯 by Squire Allworthy in the estate of Somerset 🏘️. He has returned from a business trip 🚗 and found this abandoned child 👶 on his return. He calls for his servant Mrs. Deborah Wilkins 👩🏼🦱 to have a look at the baby 🤱 and search for his identity.
In Search of His Parents 🧐
Mrs. Deborah Wilkins 👩🏼🦱 searches and doubts Jenny Jones 👩🦰 who might have committed the deed. She is the servant of a schoolmaster and his wife. The Allworthys question her of the baby 👶. She admits that it is her baby but refuses to reveal 😶 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 🤱
Mr. Allworthy sends Jenny Jones farway 🚖 where her real identity is hidden. He then handovers the baby to his sister 👱🏻♀️ Bridget and tells her to raise him. Mr. Allworthy was so kind 🤗 and at the same time wealthy 💸. He names the child Thomas and calls him Tom.
Bridget Gets Married 👰
Bridget gets married 💍 to Captain Blifil who has married for her wealth 💰. His brother Dr. Blifil had also accompanied him during his marriage but left 🚘 soon as Captain Blifil 😏 ignored him. Dr. Blifil moves to London and dies soon. While Captain Blifil tries to conspire 😈 against Tom Jones, afraid 😨 that a portion of Allworthy’s wealth 💰 will go to him. But Allworthy refuses to believe him.
Captain Blifil Dies ⚰️
Unfortunately, Captain Blifil dies ⚰️ due to apoplexy. The readers 🙇♀️ feel comfortable that there is none to disturb the poor Tom. But, Captain Blifil and Bridget have a son 🧑 named Master William Blifil, who seems to follow his father’s path by conspiring against Tom. He is jealous 😬 and tries to put Tom in trouble 😩 whenever possible.
Tom as a Youth 👨🦱
“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 🤗 young man just as his guardian Allworthy but he was weak 😉in his morals. He grows to be a lusty casanova🤪. He befriends 🤜🤛the servants more than other people of the area. The gamekeeper Black George is his closest friend.
Tom Jones ❤️ Molly Seagrim
Tom Jones shares a relationship 😘 with Molly Seagrim, the second daughter and the local beauty 👩🏽🦱 of Black George. Molly becomes pregnant 🤰which Tom believes is from him. Later he comes to know that she had multiple relationships 🙄 and leaves her.
Tom Jones ❤️ Sophia Western
Tom Jones then falls in love 😍 with Sophia Western, the wealthy 💸 and pretty daughter of Squire Western. Sophia truly loves him. While her aunt, Miss Western mistakes 😊 her love for Tom to be for Master Blifil, the Westerns approve 🤝 of their love. But as they come to know of the truth 😮 that Sophia loves Tom, Western locks 🔐 her up in her room 🚪 for falling in love with the penniless and bastard 😏 Tom Jones.
Squire Allworthy Falls Ill 🤒
“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
As Squire Allworthy falls ill 🤒, he distributes his wealth among his family members with a good proportion ☺️ for Tom Jones too. This makes Master Blifil jealous 😬. Tom is very concerned 😔 about the health of Allworthy and doesn’t care 😒 about the money 💷 or wealth. Surprisingly, Allworthy recovers and he lives 🤗. But, his sister Bridget dies.
Master Blifil’s Plot
Tom Jones drinks 🍺, sings 🎶 and celebrates 🎉 as Allworthy regains his health. Master Blifil takes this opportunity and plots a fight 🤼♂️ with Tom. Later Blifil informs Allworthy that he had drunk 🥃 and celebrated 🎊 welcoming his death. Allworthy gets angry 😡 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 🤗 to marry Master Blifil by Miss Western. But Sophia cannot accept to marry him and finds him disgusting. The situation grows worse 😢 as Tom is expelled 😶 from the estate. As Tom leaves the estate ☹️ and begins his journey, Sophia too leaves her house in a hope 😔 of meeting him sooner accompanied by her maid Mrs. Honour.
Love … is the child of love only; … 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
“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 🙃. His adventures start from Britain and end up in London. On his journey 🛣️, he meets a man named Patridge. Partridge was banished from the town as he was believed to be Tom’s father 😯. But he assures that he is not his father and joins him 😗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
In the midst of the journey, Tom rescues a woman 👩 named Mrs. Waters from gangsters and takes her to an inn. They make love and spend the night 🌃 together in the inn. This time, a man named Mr. Fitzpatrick comes to the inn in search 🧐 of his wife Mrs. Fitzpatrick. He burst into Tom’s room 🚪 mistaking his wife to be Mrs. Waters who later leaves.
Sophia Is Aware of his Night with Mrs. Waters 😨
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
Sophia, who was in search 🔎 of Tom Jones arrives at the inn and is shocked 😲 to hear that he has spent his night with Mrs. Waters. It was Mr. Fitzpatrick who unconsciously gave her the news. She is heartbroken 💔 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 😨. What can be more disastrous than this 😰?
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 🏬 with her cousin, Mrs. Fitzpatrick to London. She then takes shelter 🏘️ under Lady Bellaston as she cannot return to her house. Tom and Patridge go in search 🔎 of Sophia and find that she lives with Lady Bellaston . Tom Jones purposefully makes Lady Bellaston fall in love 💕 with him to meet Sophia. Lady Bellaston and Tom Jones share a physical relationship 💋. He then meets Sophia and confesses 💖 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 😈
Lady Bellaston had fallen in love 💓 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 🙁 Sophia so as to compel her into this marriage with no other option 😩. But, fortunately her father Squire Western arrives at the moment and saves her 😌. He again forces her to accept Blifil as her husband 😣.
Tom Jones is Arrested
Tom gets arrested for injuring 🔪 Mr. Fitzpatrick in a duel. It is Patridge who helps 😌 him during his imprisonment. Even though this scared 😱 him at first, it led to the revelation of his birth secret. He was initially in a miserable condition 😵 when he heard that Mrs. Waters was Jenny Jones, his supposed mother. He was scared and frightened 🥺 that he committed incest. But Mrs. Waters arrives and reveals who Tom Jones is.
Who is Actually Tom?
Tom is the son 🧔 of Allworthy’s sister, Bridget from a schoolmaster. She had hidden this secret but revealed it in a letter ✉️ before her death which was destroyed 💥 by Blifil. Tom Jones was the nephew of Allworthy and the half-brother of Master Blifil.
No Obstructions… ☺️
As the parentage of Tom Jones is revealed, there is nothing ☺️ that hinders the marriage of Sophia and Tom. Their marriage 💒 is held with the blessings 🤗 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 🧒🏼 and a daughter 👧🏼.
“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
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 JaleelWriter at Inclined Scorpio
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