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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Book Four

Chapters 8-14

Summary

In the eighth chapter, we see that Sophia after seeing Molly in the church offers Black George an opportunity to put Molly in service with her. Black George is puzzled and anxious as to what he should do after noticing that his daughter is pregnant. He finds his daughters and his wife in an uproar at his house, when he comes back.

This is because, Molly had got into a terrible fight in the church courtyard with the villagers who were taunting her dress and her reputation. There is a muddy and physical fight. Fortunately, for Molly, Tom comes to her rescue as he passes the courtyard alongwith Blifil and Square. He picks her up and deposits her safely home. But, at home Molly gets into an argument again with her mother and her sisters. Her mother taunts her for being pregnant. Molly is convinced that her gentleman Tom will provide for her nevertheless. After many debates, it is finally decided that Goody Seagrim, Molly's mother herself will serve on Sophia and then try and secure that position for another daughter.

Tom has dinner with Squire Western, Sophia and Mr. Supple, the curate of Mr. Allworthy's parish. The curate reveals over dinner that Molly is pregnant. He also relates the violent incident in the churchyard. Tom gulps at this news and leaves the table. The curate expresses his opinion that Tom must be the father of this child. Sophia is surprised at this news and it is then that she realizes that she had begun to love Tom. She too excuses herself from her father's company that night.

Tom goes home and finds that Molly is being led away by a constable. He comes to her rescue, and takes her inside the house. He goes and confesses to the Squire that he is the father of the child that Molly is pregnant with. The Squire is angry with him and at the same time pleased with his honesty. Tom pleads that Molly be left and apologizes profusely for the error. Thwackum condemns Tom. Square criticizes Tom too, but in an even more vicious manner. He hints to Allworthy that Tom must have been good to the Molly’s father, Black George, only so that he could have access to this young girl. The Squire had never even thought of this angle before.


Sophia is tormented by thoughts of Tom. She snaps at her maid Mrs. Honour for talking too much about Molly and Tom. She realizes that she is guilty of a passion for him and decides to distance herself from him as far as possible.

In the thirteenth chapter, Sophia is returning from a chase on a horse, when the beast starts capering and rearing. Tom comes to her rescue and manages to catch her in his arms as she is thrown off the horseback. In the process, he breaks one arm. Sophia is now concerned about him and she, her father and Tom walk back together to Squire Western's house.

At the house, a Doctor attends to Sophia, she retires to bed after that as she cannot bear to see Tom in pain. Tom is wounded and so passes the night at Squire Western's house. His broken arm is bandaged up. In the meanwhile, Mrs. Honour praises Tom's magnanimity and handsomeness to Sophia, in the latter's room. She also tells her of an incident when Tom had repeatedly kissed Sophia's muff on learning that it was her's. While Sophia tries to hide her feelings for Tom, she is nonetheless pleased by this narration and blushes a deep red.

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