Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 3, Chapter 5

By Henry Fielding

Book 3, Chapter 5

The Opinions of the Divine and the Philosopher Concerning the Two Boys; With Some Reasons for Their Opinions, and Other Matters

  • Allworthy is so impressed by Tom's protection of Black George that he stops Mr. Thwackum from hitting Tom again, in spite of Master Blifil's bloody nose.
  • Both Mr. Thwackum and Mr. Square agree that Master Blifil is the good boy and Tom, the bad.
  • By telling nothing but the truth, they argue, Master Blifil has done his duty as a Christian.
  • Squire Allworthy fires Black George from his job as gamekeeper because it's obviously pretty terrible to let a kid get beaten in your place.
  • When everyone in the village hears the story, they all agree that Tom behaved well and Master Blifil behaved badly.
  • But Mr. Thwackum and Mr. Square both strongly prefer Master Blifil.
  • Why? Because Master Blifil is a much better suck-up than Tom.
  • Master Blifil flatters Mr. Thwackum and Mr. Square, while Tom seems barely to pay attention to them.
  • So of course they like Master Blifil better.
  • Squire Allworthy originally hired both these guys to tutor his nephew and adopted-son-like-figure because they are so different.
  • He thought that each of them would make up for the problems in the other's character.
  • It never really occurred to Squire Allworthy that neither Mr. Thwackum nor Mr. Square would teach the kids anything.