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Type of work
Epic comic romance; Bildungsroman
Time and place written
Date of first publication
A. Millar, London
Point of view
The narrator predominantly speaks in the first person singular, but
occasionally slips into a Victorian first person plural "we." The last quarter
of the novel is partly epistolary, with letters embedded in the prose. The
narrator is essentially omniscient and fluctuates between the minds of various
The narrator's tone is constantly ironic. There has been much debate, however,
about what kind of irony Fielding employs, and critics have coined various terms
to describe the narrative tone, which is unique to Fielding.
England (mainly Somersetshire, Bristol, Upton, London)
Tom Jones and Sophia Western cannot marry, since Tom is believed to be a
foundling bastard and Sophia's father wishes her to marry someone of her own
Tom and Sophia fall in love, Allworthy banishes Tom, Sophia runs away from
Squire Western to London, Tom has an affair with Lady Bellaston .
Tom is thrown into prison for "killing" Fitzpatrick in a duel.
Tom's friends rally to reunite him with Sophia and clear his name, Blifil's
deceit is discovered.
Virtue as action rather than thought, the impossibility of stereotypical
categorization, the tension between Art and Artifice
Food, travel, the law, the stage
The narrator engages in constant self-conscious foreshadowing of the events of
the upcoming chapter or book
Ace your assignments with our guide to Tom Jones!