free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

OVERALL ANALYSES

Character Analysis

Major Characters

Tom Jones

Tom Jones the novel is a panoramic commentary on England in 1745 and it is also the story of Tom Jones and Sophia Western. Tom and Sophia are rebels revolting against the respectably accepted domestic standards of eighteenth century society. By such standards Sophia should obey her father and Tom should be what Blifil thinks him, an illegitimate upstart who ought to be put firmly in his place.

For the purposes of the plot Fielding makes Tom a gentleman. Tom & Sophia fight conventional society embodied in the character of Blifil. They are not passive in their struggle and that is why Tom Jones is not a tragedy but comedy.

While Blifil is forever on the side of conventional respectability. Tom Jones has the vigor and spirit at spontaneity. He acts naturally and therefore the excesses into which his animal spirits lead him are forgiven. Here in the novel the natural man and the noble savage are pitted against each other. Tom's strength lies in the vigor and spontaneity of Tom's reactions.

Fielding's hero Tom Jones is shown as a bewildered young man of great health and spirits. He has so much life that it amounts for the effect of comedy and application of satire equal to him having his own mind.

Tom Jones is an attractive character quite the heroic. But his heroism is tinged with a recklessness of youth, which makes him all the more believable while he is well meaning he gets unintentionally into trouble.

Tom Jones has one failing--his wantonness with women. He cannot resist them and he has more than one affair. While his heart belongs to Sophia Western he constantly gives his physical self away to the pleasures of love.

But ultimately all the goodness in his character pays him rich dividends and he is once again made the heir at Squire Allworthy's large estate. He even manages to get his ladylove in marriage (Sophia Western) and she pardons his numerous infidelities.


The plot movement follows the curve of extreme high and low. Tom comes on the scene as a bastard, his reputation and his hopes are progressively blackened until he reaches his nadir in London. Here he is kept by Lady Bellaston and even accused of murder and thrown into jail. There is further misinterpretation of his character, when he is accused of incest with his supposed mother Jenny Jones.

With the exposure of Blifilís malicious machinations and of Tomís true goodness his fortune sails to the Zenith of romantic happiness. He is proved to be of high birth and he marries the girl of his choice and he inherits wealth.

At the end Blifil's treachery is revealed and Squire Allworthy realizes rightly the good nature of Tom Jones. One cannot condemn Squire Allworthy for entertaining doubts about Tom Jones previously, as he does get involved in amorous relationships with other women. But common to all his relationships is that it is always the women, who do the running. Another fact to be mentioned is that it is only towards the end of the novel, that Tom feels himself to be worthy of marriage to Sophia.

Tom Jones does obtain Sophia eventually and their love is finalized in marriage. The blustering careless Tom Jones converts into a responsible and faithful husband. He is one of the few heroes in English literature, who is represented realistically as having negative traits, as well as positive charms.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright © PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 8:53:38 AM