Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding is a novel that is identical to a soap opera. This book deals with everything from treachery to lust to deceit. He writes about a man and woman’s love for one another and that nothing can stand in their way. Class separates them and they will not let that stop them. “Acquired a discretion and prudence very uncommon in one of his lively parts.” This is a quote from Squire Allworthy to Tom.
I believe that Fielding’s purpose in writing this novel was purely to entertain. He also added stabs at the class society in medieval England. He wrote this novel to inspire hope in the people of his time. He wanted them to go for their dreams and never to give up hope. But most of all this was for entertainment. Humans like to see lives that are in more turmoil than their own. This is why we have soap operas on television today.
He achieves this by using characters that seem to be imaginable. He puts these characters in amazing situations. When the reader believes that they have something pinned he puts in another twist that sends your senses spiraling. A specific instance in the novel is when the reader finds out that Mrs. Waters is actually Jenny Jones who is Tom’s mother. He sleeps with Mrs. Waters not knowing this. Fielding does not unveil this secret until the end of the novel.
The major problem in the book is simple. There is a deceitful man named Blifil. He and Tom are going after the same woman, Sophia Western. Blifil is a kaniving person and besmirches the reputation of Tom. He makes up lies that hurt Tom’s chances with Sophia. Tom is also a bastard and Sophia's father does not want her to marry a bastard. But he does want her to marry Blifil because he is in line to inherit a large estate. After arguments and many other incidences the truth is revealed. Everyone finds out that Tom is the good one and Blifil is the bad one. Tom also gets the girl.
Henry Fielding was born on April 22, 1707, at Sharpham Park in Somersetshire to well-situated, upper-class parents. His mother was the grand daughter of Sir Henry gold, Baron of the Exchequer, and his father, Edmund, fought against the forces of Louis XIV under the Duke of Marlborough, who eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant general. Fielding was home school as was Tom Jones in the novel. A clerk-man from the University of Leyden educated him. And he began not as a novelist, but as a playwright. His first play was, Love in Several Masques. It was written and performed in 1728, he was still quite young. During the next ten years he wrote eight more long plays and over fifteen short plays which he called Farces. Arthur Murphy wrote the first biography of Fielding in 1762. “For though it must be acknowledged that in the whole collection there are few plays likely to make any considerable figure on the stage hereafter, yet they are worthy of being preserved, being the works of a genius, who in his wildest and most inaccurate productions, yet occasionally displays the talents of a master.” In 1737 he began to study law at Middle Court. He was admitted to the bar in 1740. In the remaining fourteen years of his life he published four novels. He also wrote a BI-weekly newspaper called the Covent Garden Journal. In 1748 he was named Justice of the Peace for the Westminster district of London and in 1749 for all of Middlesex County. He was a proponent of social reform. He spent the last five years of his life in and out of courts and parliament. In 1753 he published “Proposal for Making an Effectual Provision for the Poor.” In April 1754 he was forced to resign his position as magistrate and move to Portugal. He later died in October of 1754.
I believe that the specific theme of this novel to to never give up. That if a person has a dream and eventhough others tell them they can not reach it that they should still reach.