Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 1, Chapter 9

By Henry Fielding

Book 1, Chapter 9

Containing Matters Which Will Surprize the Reader

  • When the villagers all think that Jenny Jones is going to a house of correction, they pity her.
  • But as soon as they find out that Squire Allworthy isn't going to punish her, everyone turns against her again.
  • As promised, Squire Allworthy makes it possible for Jenny Jones to leave the area.
  • But in Jenny Jones's absence, the gossip all turns against Squire Allworthy.
  • Most people now believe that he is the father of Jenny Jones's child, and some even imply that he may have had her killed. Yikes.
  • Of course, Squire Allworthy is so obviously a good and innocent man that these nasty rumors don't really make trouble for him.
  • The narrator stops for a second to comment that Squire Allworthy made the right decision in giving Jenny Jones a fresh start somewhere else.
  • Jenny now has a great opportunity to learn from her mistake and live as a decent woman again (according to the social rules of her time), which not many women with bad reputations get.