Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics
Classical epics typically rely on the use of Divine Intervention, or the supernatural, in order to shape the outcome of events. Does Tom Jones follow or deviate from this aspect of classical epics in its plot?
Suggested Essay Topics
Fielding wrote Tom Jones at a time when people read to be instructed in questions of morality. Does Fielding advocate certain values and morals in his novel, or does he reject such an approach?
How does Fielding portray the relationship between city and country in Tom Jones?
Although there was much debate during Fielding's time about exactly what constituted a "novel," there was some consensus that it was a work of prose that charted the everyday events of people's lives. Does Tom Jones fit into such a definition?
What do you think Fielding's actual purpose was in writing the chapters that preface each of his eighteen books in Tom Jones? How does this purpose agree with or deviate from his stated purpose?
Discuss the relationship between the narrator and the reader of Tom Jones. How important is this relationship to the overall impact of the novel?
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