Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 4, Chapter 9

By Henry Fielding

Book 4, Chapter 9

Containing Matters of No Very Peaceable Colour

  • Once Molly gets home, her older sister (Betty) and her mother (Goody Seagrim) start screaming at her for being pregnant.
  • They both basically call her a prostitute.
  • Black George arrives and explains Sophia's job offer of a maid position for Molly.
  • Goody Seagrim flips out with rage at her daughter, since Molly can't take the job while pregnant.
  • But Molly shushes her mother: she tells Goody Seagrim that "[her] gentleman" (4.9.4) will provide for them all.
  • Molly hands her mother some money that she got from Tom that afternoon.
  • Suddenly, with Tom's money in hand, Goody Seagrim changes her tune.
  • Now that it doesn't seem like Molly will need that job with Sophia, Goody Seagrim starts saying mean things about Sophia's charity and high and mighty ways.
  • Goody Seagrim calls Black George a "villain" (4.9.6) for passing on Sophia's job offer to them.
  • Black George loses his temper, takes a switch, and whips his wife.
  • This beating frightens his whole family into silence.
  • Finally, as a group they decide that Goody Seagrim should approach Sophia Western.
  • She will ask if Betty could take the job instead.