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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Book Sixteen

Chapters 1 - 5

Summary

In the first chapter the narrator speaks about prologues and makes comments unrelated to the narrative.

Squire Western settles down in his Piccadilly lodging and Sophia retires to her apartment. She is locked in. The next morning a captain comes to meet Squire Western. He comes on behalf of Lord Fellamar and requests that the Lord be allowed to pay respects to the Squire. This is regarding the proposal for Sophia's hand. But Squire Western has no patience for the gentle behavior of the Lord and is very rude to the Captain.

The captain leaves amidst a volley of shouts and curses. Sophia in her room is worried about the chaos downstairs & starts screaming. The Squire comes up to his daughter and they talk affectionately to each other for sometime. But, the peace does not last for long as Sophia still refuses to marry Blifil. The Squire leaves the room in anger and the daughter is left crying.

Sophia is in confinement and Black George carries her up a pullet. There is a letter contained inside the bird from Tom to Sophia. The letter is an apologetic one. In the meanwhile Sophia hears loud voices below.

It is an argument between Mrs. Western and her brother. The lady is angry that her brother did not heed her advice and that he used drastic methods with Sophia. Lady Western then goes and frees Sophia and decides that she will handle Sophia henceforth.

Sophia answers Tom's letter with one of her own and sends it across through Black George. Tom is glad to know that Sophia is now in the safer hands of her aunt-Lady Western.

Tom attends Mrs. Miller and her younger daughter into the gallery of the playhouse. Partridge is present too. They see the play - 'Hamlet Prince of Denmark' and Partridge is very dramatic in his reactions throughout. Mrs. Fitzpatrick approaches Tom and fixes an appointment with him for the next day. Partridge entertains everyone at the gallery with his excitement. He goes to sleep with great difficulty.


Notes

Fielding has a very informal style of writing at times. In the first chapter of this Book he impresses his opinion about prologues. Itís almost as if he is conversing with himself.

In the second chapter Squire Western and his daughter Sophia alternate between arguments and reconciliations. They both love each other tenderly but Sophia cannot seem to reconcile herself with the idea of marrying Blifil.

Lord Fellamar continues to pursue Sophia. He sends a Captain to Sophiaís father to acquire a meeting with the Squire. But there is a large gap between the sophistication of the Lord's manners and the coarse bluntness of Squire Western's country up bringing. Squire Western has no patience with polite language and courtly manners. He is childish in his immediate expression of dislike. The Captain & the Squire have a verbal argument and Sophia is worried about her father's safety. When he comes up to her room she makes a significant promise to him. She says that she will not marry without his consent. Sophia does have tender feelings for her father.

Now that Black George is in London he does his friend Tom favors by agreeing to serve as a messenger. In dramatic movie style, George brings up a letter for Sophia hidden inside a bird for her eating. Tomís letter is a dramatic one characteristic of a loverís. There is little common sense and more of bombastic in the letter. Sometimes Tom is too simple to use artful words.

Sophia finds some relief when her aunt comes to London and decides to take her niece under her own wing. Sophia is freed from her locked jail.

The altercation between Squire Western & his sister is amusing. Lady Western comes across as a pompous, condescending person. The reader tends to not like her. But at least Sophia has more freedom while she is with her aunt.

Now Sophia sendsTom a letter. Sophia's letters are very different from Tom's. They are not as open and passionate, she is retrained but her anger and irritation are apparent in the letter.

Sophia makes it a point to be very judicious about her promises. For her a promise is a sacred thing. She is more careful about aspects of honor than Tom. She tells Tom not to write to her anymore. Tom is happy that at least his love is in safe hands as she is now with her aunt.

Tom attends a play with Mrs. Miller, her daughter and Partridge. Partridge entertains all with his comic responses to the horror on the edge. In the midst of serious development Fielding provides comic relief with the inclusion of this trip. Partridge is really lovable and provides wholesome entertainment. We laugh at him but still love him.

At the end of the fifth chapter, Mrs Fitzpatrick approaches Tom. We are surprised and are curious as to why she would want to meet tom. Fielding manages to keep our interest excited by frequent developments in the plot.

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