Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 13, Chapter 1

By Henry Fielding

Book 13, Chapter 1

An Invocation

  • (An invocation is a call to a god for help with something.)
  • The narrator invents two whole new Muses for his invocation.
  • (What, the original nine aren't enough for him?)
  • The first one is the Muse of Fame.
  • The narrator wants "future praise" (13.1.1), even from people he will never know or meet.
  • The second new goddess the narrator addresses is the Muse of Gold.
  • This "muse" is the one who inspires all of the cheap, money-grubbing writers who suck up to their patrons and who don't worry about substance.
  • The narrator would like to make some cash off this book.
  • Now that he has called upon Fame and Fortune to make him write in the first place, what comes next?
  • Who should guide the content of his writing?
  • (a) The narrator wants Genius to help him see through the false appearances that sometimes trick others into admiring people who don't deserve it.
  • (b) The narrator also wants Humanity to fill his novel.
  • He wants his work to be tender and filled with compassion.
  • (c) Third on the list of influences is Learning. The narrator wants to keep going back to the classics to inspire his own writing.
  • (d) Last but not least: Experience should be part of his writing.
  • The narrator wants to use his experiences with all kinds of people, from up and down the social ladder, to illustrate "the manners of mankind" (13.1.7).
  • With the help of all of these things, he hopes to finish up his novel successfully.