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Tom jones

“Published in 1749, Tom Jones is considered one of the great English novels of the 18th century written by Henry Fielding. This comedy of manners follows the adventures of the charming yet impetuous Tom Jones from his upbringing by the kind-hearted Mr Allworthy. Through a series of amusing missteps, we watch Tom navigate society and pursue his love interest Sophia Western in a witty story. That story embraces life’s folly and brings humour to the foibles of human nature.”

Summary of Tom Jons

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding the story of young Tom, who was found abandoned as an infant and raised by the wealthy and kindly Squire Allworthy. Though taken in as his own, Tom struggles with his impulsive nature and gets into various scrapes during his youth. As Tom grows into a handsome man, he falls for the beautiful daughter of a neighbouring landowner, Sophia Western.

However, their love is complicated by the disputes between their families. Meanwhile, Tom continues to find trouble through his reckless actions. During numerous comedic misadventures, Tom crosses paths with interesting characters who aren’t always what they seem. Through it all, Tom remains determined to win Sophia’s hand. This hilarious tale follows Tom as he navigates complicated relationships, mysterious intrigues and his own wild temperament on the journey to understand himself and claim his future.”

Themes of Tom Jons

The role of fortune and fate

Whether due to luck or destiny, unforeseen circumstances significantly shape Tom’s adventures for better or worse.

The challenges of class divide

Coming from humble origins, Tom must navigate the complex social hierarchies of his time and prove his worth beyond his station.

The follies of human nature

Fielding satirizes various folly and vices, reminding readers that humanity is flawed but capable of redemption through compassion.

The importance of virtue

Amid the humour are messages about cultivating integrity, generosity and kindness as the best path, as shown through characters like Squire Allworthy.

The mysteries of the heart

Tom’s passion for Sophia and the misunderstandings that ensue depict love as beyond reason yet fundamental to the human experience.

The influence of reputation

In a gossipy society, one’s notoriety or renown deserved or not, can significantly impact opportunities and how others perceive them.

The challenge of impulse vs. reason

Tom’s temptation to act on reckless urges and the consequences teach that prudence often serves us better than gratifying every whim.

The power of forgiveness

Through Tom’s ultimate redemption, Fielding suggests that past mistakes need not define one forever if we allow room for growth and atonement.

Major Characters of Tom Jons

Tom Jones

Our handsome, charming yet impetuous protagonist. Raised with a generous spirit by Allworthy, Tom struggles with his passionate nature getting the better of him.

Squire Allworthy

The kindly landowner rescues baby Tom and raises him as his own. He upholds virtue and generosity, hoping to guide Tom to be a just man.

Sophia Western

The beautiful daughter of the wealthy Squire Western. Sophia finds herself drawn to Tom but her headstrong father disapproves of the match.

Squire Western

Sophia’s boastful father prefers she marry a man of higher rank than Tom. Western appreciates the finer things in life but lacks Allworthy’s compassion.

Molly Seagrim

A woman of little means whose affection for Tom brings her both help and heartache. Though their social standings differ, her love for Tom remains steadfast.

Black George Seagrim

Molly’s uncouth husband treats her cruelly. Seeking to undermine Tom and claim Molly’s fortune, Black George proves a cunning antagonist.


A rake and scoundrel who first aids then tries to undermine Tom for his own gain. Though charming, Nightengale prioritizes vice over virtue.


Tom Jones was a truly great novel that represented many modern aspects of society. Though set years ago, Fielding used his characters to portray timeless truths about human nature we still see today. Through Tom’s journey of self-discovery, we learn that even in a changing world, guiding young people towards virtues like compassion and integrity remains vital.

Sophia showed how social pressures can conflict with our hearts, making Fielding’s insights feel remarkably relevant. By satirizing fools yet praising kindness, he crafted a truly memorable story that lights the way forward by shining a comedic yet caring light on the follies of every age.


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