Study Guide

Tom Jones Tough-o-Meter

By Henry Fielding

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(9) Mount Everest

We can't deny that Tom Jones is a tough read. Not only is there the usual difficulty of figuring out the old-fashioned language of a book published two hundred and fifty years ago, but Henry Fielding is also a deeply sarcastic writer. This means that he often says the opposite of what he actually means in order to make us laugh. We find Fielding's sarcasm hilarious (we love a good biting, double-edged comment), but we can't deny that it takes a lot of concentration to figure out what, exactly, he is actually implying at any given time.

Still, while the language and style of Tom Jones can be a definite challenge for contemporary readers, the novel's three-dimensional characters, passionate romance, odd adventures, and witty writing make the work Fielding puts us through to understand his novel more than worthwhile.

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