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Morality in Tom Jones written by Henry Fielding

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According to Henry Fielding, the social standing of a person is a non-issue when the individual in question possesses excellent personal qualities. The description that Sophia makes of Tom shows the belief that Fielding has as regards to virtues. Sophia talks of Tom as being courageous, gentle, compassionate, innocuous, witty, well-mannered and handsome (Fielding and Sheridan, 102). Therefore, the fact that Tom was an illegitimate child to his parents is overridden by the qualities that he prides himself in. it is evident from the novel that Tom was an illegitimate child and he had hopes of marrying himself.

At that period of time, this would have probably meant that the lady would have to have and uphold the social status of her husband. Nonetheless, Sophia was willing to undergo this consequence and this elucidates to us that she was getting married to Tom solely out of true love without any hidden agendas. Fielding has no reservations about the issue of illegitimacy despite his consistent condemnation of sex outside the institution of marriage. As such, illegitimacy is neither a vice nor a virtue, according to the sentiments of Fielding.

The words of Allworthy in the novel make this stand clear. Allworthy states that as much as the parents are guilty of having sex outside the confines of marriage does not certainly make the children lose their innocence. The act of sex before marriage does not, therefore, declare the children that arise from it as not being innocent. Their innocence cannot be taken away from them. Henry Fielding further writes in the novel that although a person has a good personality, some of the passions that they may possess would eventually lead to their failure in life and as a result, develop vices that are associated with a bad person.

In the novel, Tom Jones is depicted as a victim to his reader. This is particularly noted in the relationship that he had with Miss Waters. She aggressively seduces Tom and hence making Tom seem like a victim of circumstances rather than an equal party in the infidelity.

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preview essay on Morality in Tom Jones written by Henry Fielding
  • Pages: 7 (1750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: English
  • Level: Masters
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