Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 7, Chapter 6

By Henry Fielding

Book 7, Chapter 6

Containing Great Variety of Matter

  • Squire Western catches up with his sister just as she is about to leave.
  • The two make up with each other quickly by joining forces against Sophia.
  • Mrs. Western says they have to take Sophia by surprise, when she's not expecting to see Mr. Blifil.
  • Luckily for them, Mr. Blifil turns up at just this moment.
  • As Mrs. Western predicted, Sophia is so surprised by this sudden meeting that she doesn't refuse to speak to him.
  • Mr. Blifil keeps talking at her, and Sophia responds to him very formally and stiffly.
  • Mr. Blifil continues to prove that he has no idea how the human heart works by telling Squire Western that he thinks things are going well between him and Sophia.
  • Squire Western isn't so sure.
  • So he insists that he can work out the details with Squire Allworthy that afternoon, and they can have the wedding the next day.
  • Mr. Blifil agrees to that plan.
  • And then we get the truth of it: Mr. Blifil actually isn't dumb as a bag of hammers.
  • It turns out, instead, that he is a creepy would-be rapist.
  • He knows that Sophia can't stand him.
  • And in fact, he hates her in return.
  • But he finds her attractive and he lusts after her.
  • The fact that she doesn't like him, and that she is in love with Tom, makes him all the more eager to marry her.
  • He thinks that, if he can sleep with her and replace Tom, then he will have won over both of them in a sick game that only he is playing.
  • And let's not forget, he still wants her money.
  • So he decides to pretend to Sophia that he loves her, and to pretend to Squires Allworthy and Western that Sophia loves him.
  • So Squire Allworthy and Squire Western rush through the wedding arrangements.