Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 5, Chapter 11

By Henry Fielding

Book 5, Chapter 11

In Which a Simile in Mr. Pope's Period of a Mile Introduces as Bloody a Battle As Can Possibly Be Fought Without the Assistance of Steel or Cold Iron

  • The narrator goes off on this long, really euphemistic paragraph about deer and sex.
  • Basically, if a stag and a lady deer are getting it on and another animal comes along to threaten them, the stag will fight back angrily.
  • When Mr. Thwackum comes running into the clearing where Tom and Molly were, until recently, having sex, Tom gets really annoyed (like the stag in the opening paragraphs).
  • Mr. Thwackum demands to know who the girl is.
  • Tom refuses to tell him, and the two exchange words.
  • Finally, the fight is on.
  • Mr. Blifil jumps in because he "would not see his old master [Thwackum] insulted" (5.11.3).
  • So now it's two against one.
  • Tom has no trouble knocking Mr. Blifil out.
  • But Mr. Thwackum is a tougher customer.
  • Tom starts to get tired.
  • And Mr. Blifil regains consciousness just in time to make things even harder on him.
  • Tom lays out Mr. Blifil a second time, but it still looks like he might lose to Mr. Thwackum.
  • Luckily, Squire Western comes along just in time, and immediately sides with Tom.
  • Squire Western helps Tom even the odds.