Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 6, Chapter 7

By Henry Fielding

Book 6, Chapter 7

A Picture of Formal Courtship in Miniature, As It Always Ought to Be Drawn, and a Scene of a Tenderer Kind, Painted at Full Length

  • Poor Sophia: not only does she miss the man she loves, but now she has to dress up for a meeting with a man she hates.
  • Squire Western is still certain that his daughter is about to get engaged to the man she most desires (because he's an idiot).
  • Mr. Blifil arrives, and the two sit in silence for almost fifteen minutes.
  • Finally, the two of them start exchanging compliments.
  • Mr. Blifil is totally sure that Sophia wants to marry him.
  • Why wouldn't she? He's so awesome (he thinks). (And together, they'll have so much lovely money.)
  • So Mr. Blifil leaves this awkward interview sure of his success as a suitor.
  • Squire Western catches Mr. Blifil on the way out and hugs him repeatedly, he's so happy.
  • Since Squire Western often gets these jolly moods, Sophia doesn't realize why her father is so particularly thrilled.
  • So she seizes the opportunity to tell him how she really feels about Mr. Blifil.
  • Squire Western is furious.
  • He declares that, if Sophia does not marry Mr. Blifil, he will disown her.
  • As Squire Western stomps away, Tom sees him looking upset.
  • Tom asks him what's going on, and Squire Western yells about "the misery of all fathers who are so unfortunate to have daughters" (6.7.13).
  • Tom does something pretty daring: he asks Squire Western for permission to see Sophia so that he can persuade her to marry Mr. Blifil.
  • As usual, Squire Western is about as perceptive as your average rock.
  • He thanks Tom for being willing to help with Sophia's engagement and sends him after her at once.