Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 9, Chapter 5

By Henry Fielding

Book 9, Chapter 5

An Apology For All Heroes Who Have Good Stomachs, With a Description of a Battle of the Amorous Kind

  • Tom settles down and inhales a ton of food, since it's been a full day since he last ate anything.
  • As he is eating, Mrs. Waters sits and thinks about something else: Tom's attractiveness.
  • He is, after all, "one of the handsomest young fellows in the world." (9.5.5)
  • Not only is he handsome but he has also just rescued Mrs. Waters from an attacker.
  • Of course she is going to think he's awesome.
  • She wants to be attractive to Tom, as well.
  • (Here, Fielding gives us another parody of classical poetic style, sort of like the mock-Homer passages in Book 4, Chapter 8.)
  • Here are the "weapons" (9.5.12) that Mrs. Waters uses to seduce Tom:
  • (1) two blue eyes (which Tom ignores in favor of his roast beef); and
  • (2) a deep sigh (which he can't hear over the bubbling of his beer).
  • Tom is concentrating so hard on eating that love doesn't really enter into his mind.
  • Mrs. Waters decides to hold off on seducing Tom until he's finished dining.
  • Once, he's done, though, she breaks out the big guns: a shy gaze that immediately gets Tom's attention.
  • She follows up the shy look with a friendly smile.
  • Tom notices and likes what he sees.
  • Mrs. Waters drops the handkerchief from her neck.
  • And Tom surrenders to her charms. Bow chicka bow bow!