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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Book Three

Chapters 6 - 10

Summary

We are told in the sixth chapter that both Square and Thwackum lavish Mrs. Blifil with attention. Their intention is to marry the lady and to benefit from her fortune. It is with this objective in mind that they lavish Blifil with praise and partiality, while being cruel to Tom. They think that this might please Blifil's mother. But, she is indifferent to their serious proposals while she does make the most of their compliments and their chivalry. She flirts with both in turns, and later shows more favor to Square. In the meanwhile, Tom is placed at an equal footing with Blifil in the house. Mrs. Blifil complains of the Squire's attentions to the foundling and at the same time she hates her own son, just as she had disliked her husband before his death. But, as Tom grows up, she is attracted by his youthful charms and lavishes him with love. This is all the more reason for Square to be jealous of Tom.

In the seventh chapter, the author makes his comments on some developments in the plot. When the Squire sees that Blifil's mother detests her boy, he tries to be fair by being more attentive to Blifil's qualities. Thus, Jones sinks in the Squire's affections just as he rises in Mrs. Blifil's. The author recommends that the reader too must not commit Tom's mistakes and must be prudent and careful at the same time.

The good-natured disposition of Tom is elaborated in the eighth chapter. He sells his little horse in order to provide for Black George's starving family. Squire Allworthy is touched by the little boy's kind gesture. This matter is a subject of debate between Square and Thwackum. Thwackum feels that Tom must be punished but Square for once, argues on Tom's behalf.


In the ninth chapter, Blifil reveals that Tom had sold his own Bible to him. This too is for the sake of Black George's family. While the tutors condemn this act, Mrs. Blifil says that both the boys are equally to be blamed - one for having sold and the other for having bought. Squire Allworthy remains silent on this case. One day, Tom shows the Squire the abject poverty in which George's family is living. The Squire melts and decides to forgive Black George. Tom is very happy with this decision.

Here, Master Blifil undertakes to be just and tells the Squire of an incident in which the gamekeeper had barbarously knocked on the head of a hare and had then sold it to a higgler, a year back. He exaggerates this event by saying that George had ensnared many hares, which was not true. But, this fact changes the Squire's mind and he declines once again to help George's family. Jones does not come to know of the reason behind the Squire's change in mind. In the meanwhile, Tom had become quite friendly with Squire Western, who is impressed by the young man's sportsmanship. Thus, Tom decides to approach this Squire to employ Black George. For this purpose, he applies to the Squire's daughter, who is her father's favorite. More so, Tom too has some little influence on her. The chapter ends with a promise to the reader: that of being introduced to this young lady in the next chapter.

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