Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 6, Chapter 5

By Henry Fielding

Book 6, Chapter 5

In Which Is Related What Passed Between Sophia and Her Aunt

  • Sophia is reading when Mrs. Western comes in.
  • Mrs. Western wants her to know right off that she and Sophia's father approve of the match.
  • Sophia is deeply confused: so her aunt and her father have been able to look past his faults to see how great he is?
  • (Notice that neither of them has specified yet who the "he" is that they are talking about.)
  • Mrs. Western tells her that they have already arranged her engagement, with the consent of Squire Allworthy.
  • Sophia is thrilled: he is so brave and perfect, even if he is of low birth!
  • Mrs. Western is like, wait, hold up: Mr. Blifil, of low birth?
  • Sophia finally catches on to the fact that they are talking about different people.
  • Of course she's not talking about Mr. Blifil—she means Tom Jones.
  • Mrs. Western is furious that Sophia would think of "allying [her]self to a bastard" (6.5.2).
  • Sophia starts to cry, but Mrs. Western is totally pitiless.
  • She screams at Sophia for ages about her supposed lack of respect for her family.
  • Sophia begs Mrs. Western to keep the secret of Sophia's love of Tom.
  • Mrs. Western says she'll only keep the secret as long as Sophia marries Mr. Blifil.
  • Sophia agrees to meet with Mr. Blifil that afternoon, as long as Mrs. Western shuts up about Tom.