Book 6 Chapter 2 of Tom Jones.

This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones over the course of four years.

This week, we learn about Mrs. Western, Squire Western's sister and Sophia's aunt. First off, she's described as having a great intelligence and learning, though seeming mannish in her appearance. Coupled with what we know of Squire Western's appearance, I'm guessing Sophia takes after her mother more than anyone else. Mrs. Western is well-read, and well-connected at court, and views her Country Bumpkin of a brother with some condescension.

However, she's almost entirely blind in the ways of love, as is her brother. She decides, based on Sophia's reaction to the fight scene at the end of Book V, that Sophia must be in love with Blifil. Of course, marrying Blifil would join together the Allworthy and Western estates and fortunes, which serves as a motivation for Mrs. Western's reasoning. Anyway, Squire Western loves the idea, and can't wait to propose the marriage to Squire Allworthy.

Also, this book is said to contain the action of about three weeks. I wonder if that covers the fortnight which passes in the background of this chapter.


AuthorMark Turetsky