Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 15, Chapter 1

By Henry Fielding

Book 15, Chapter 1

Too Short to Need a Preface

  • There are some writers out there who teach that goodness will definitely lead to happiness, and that evil will only lead to unhappiness.
  • The narrator points out that this is obviously untrue.
  • Well, it might be true if you stay at home and focus only on your own family's contentment.
  • But if you try to achieve not only your own happiness, but also the happiness of other people, that's when things start to fall apart.
  • If you try to do good in this world, you'll only attract contempt, envy, and other forms of bad mojo.
  • So, while Tom has been doing his best to help the new Nightingale-Miller merger, dark forces have been working to make him completely miserable with Sophia.
  • This is just one of many exceptions the narrator can think of to the goodness=happiness and evil=unhappiness idea.
  • The narrator puts in a small plug for doing good because it's the reasonable thing to do, not because it will make you happy (which it might not).