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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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The eighth chapter is the first in which Tom & Sophia behave openly as lovers and confess their love for each other. Tom wants that Sophia should not give herself to Blifil. There is a tender scene between them. Tom & Sophia do genuinely love each other but there are many obstacles between them.

Mrs. Western had joined Squire Western outside the duo's room. She informs the Squire about Sophia's interest in Tom. The Squire's eyes are finally opened and he is furious. While Tom may be considered good company and a pleasant man, he would never have been considered as worthwhile husband material. The Squire immediately charges towards Tom and Sophia. Sophia, on hearing her father, faints again.

As we see, throughout the novel, Sophia faints at the opportune times. Her delicacy cannot handle excessive physical or mental strain. On seeing Sophia faint, the Squire forgets his anger for sometime. We see that he loves his daughter to distraction. When she is restored, the Squire pounces on Tom. The Squire forgets his previous friendship with Tom at this juncture. He insults the young man and Tom cannot restrain his anger either. It is Parson Supple, who prevents the hero from resorting to blows.

Squire Western goes and tells all to Allworthy. He complains that Tom had tried to mislead his daughter. Squire Allworthy listens attentively but does not pass a harsh judgement on Tom. If the matter had ended at Squire Wester’s complaint, Tom would not have been thrown out of the house. But the matter doesn't end there. Blifil had been waiting for an opportune moment to reveal Tom's iniquities and he now finds it. He tells Allworthy about Jones' behavior in the house when the former had been ill. Blifil paints a villainous picture of Tom as ‘drunk and greedy’. Moreover, Blifil tells of Tom's violence to Thwackum as well as to Blifil himself.

The Squire's mind is poisoned by the tales that Blifil tells. The truth is that Blifil is a shrewd man who is able to say things in such a way that they have exactly the effect that he means them to have. In this case, the effect that he had sought was Squire Allworthy's anger directed at Tom. The Squire indeed is very troubled at his foundling's behavior and he harangues him when they meet next.


Tom is often not able to defend himself properly. This happens because he tends to be very hard on himself and is not deceitful, as Blifil is. When the Squire throws many charges at Tom, the latter merely cries and feels bad, instead of pleading his own cause. We see that the villains - Blifil and Thwackum succeed in their endeavor to destroy Tom.

Tom is turned out of the house. He is a very desolate man. We see that he fights with his conscience where Sophia is concerned. He decides to give her up. But as soon as he gets a tender letter from her, he once again is encouraged to attain her. Tom is often capricious and vacillating. He is a young man who is yet to mature completely. By the end of the book, he does manage to, however.

Black George steals Tom's money. It is poverty that drives him to do this. At the same time, George does deliver Sophia's money to Tom. Sophia pities Tom's loss of Squire Allworthy's patronage. She therefore sends sixteen guineas across to the hero. She is indeed a generous woman.

Squire Western is an orthodox and chauvinistic man. He locks Sophia up when she refuses to marry Blifil. For all his love for Sophia, eventually, he likes to impose his own will on her.

Tom retires to another town and still hopes that Allworthy will change his harsh decision. Mrs. Western argues with her brother about his orthodox ways. She is an emaciated woman who believes in the freedom of women. But, later we see that despite all her thoughts on freedom, she tries to force Sophia into doing what she herself wants from the young woman. Mrs. Western at least manages to free Sophia from the prison of her own room.

The novel reaches a crucial stage in this book Tom and Sophia's love is out of the closet. Blifil's malevolency succeeds in getting Tom banished from Squire Allworthy's house.

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