Tom Jones

Characters

Blifil

Characters Blifil

Blifil, the antagonist of Tom Jones, is a foil to his uncle Allworthy. In contrast to Allworthy, whose altruism is almost excessive, Blifil not only acts vilely, but coats his evil with sugary hypocrisy. When Allworthy and Tom confront Blifil with his crimes, Blifil weeps not out of remorse, but rather out of terror. He does not reform his ways, but merely his religion, expediently converting to Methodism in order to marry a rich woman. As the static villain, Blifil stands opposite the consistent goodness of Allworthy. Fielding uses Blifil's lack of passion to condone Tom's abundance of "animal spirits" and to sharpen his definition of love. The reader does not admire Blifil's chastity, since it stems from an excessive interest in Sophia's fortune and in a desire to eclipse Tom. Fielding's claim that physical pleasure is a necessary part of true love is further validated when Tom's philandering is contrasted with Blifil's bitter chastity.