Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 4, Chapter 6

By Henry Fielding

Book 4, Chapter 6

An Apology for the Insensibility of Mr. Jones, to all the Charms of the Lovely Sophia; In Which Possibly We May, In a Considerable Degree, Lower His Character in the Estimation of Those Men of With and Gallantry, Who Approve the Heroes in Most of Our Modern Comedies

  • The narrator admits that some readers may be frustrated with Tom, since he doesn't immediately fall into Sophia's waiting arms.
  • Not only is she beautiful, but she's also really rich.
  • So why doesn't Tom just marry her, since she really wants him to?
  • The narrator explains that it's just Tom's nature.
  • Tom may not always think through the differences between Good and Evil.
  • But he does have basically good instincts, which lead him to do the decent thing over the sleazy thing most of the time.
  • He would never marry a girl just for her money.
  • And while he respects and admires Sophia Western, he is currently in love with someone else.
  • That girl is Molly, the second oldest daughter of Black George, the gamekeeper.
  • But Tom knows that, if he sleeps with her, her reputation will be ruined.
  • So Tom is doing his best to do right by Molly.
  • Molly, on the other hand, is much less worried about her virtue than Tom is.
  • She immediately does her best to seduce him.
  • But Molly does the seducing so subtly that Tom thinks the sex was all his idea.
  • Tom is totally convinced that Molly is in love with him.
  • And he wants to make sure that she is happy and well taken-care-of.
  • So it's because out of respect for Molly that Tom ignores Sophia's many charms.