Do you think Fielding attempts to correct distortions in human behavior through the moral viewpoint of Tom Jones?

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In Tom Jones, Henry Fielding certainly reveals distortions in human behavior, and most often, when authors do that, their purpose is to provide moral corrections for such distortions. Let's look at how this works in Fielding's novel.

As boys, Tom and Blifil are always together, yet their characters are...

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In Tom Jones, Henry Fielding certainly reveals distortions in human behavior, and most often, when authors do that, their purpose is to provide moral corrections for such distortions. Let's look at how this works in Fielding's novel.

As boys, Tom and Blifil are always together, yet their characters are very different. Tom seems to be the worst of the two. He is certainly mischievous, but his mischief has a purpose to it. When he takes ducks and apples, he gives them to a family in great need of them. In fact, the people of the area admire Tom for his care. Blifil, on the other hand, is sneaky and tries to get on the good side of the boys' tutors by snitching on Tom. The tutors fail to look beneath the surface of the boys to their deeper characters, and they therefore despise Tom and love Blifil when it should be the other way around. These two tutors are shallow and silly, and we can see how distorted their behavior is and the moral viewpoint Fielding provides about the situation.

Molly Seagrim is another character whose behavior is quite distorted. Tom loves Molly, but she merely uses him. Molly ends up pregnant, and Tom claims to be the baby's father to keep Molly out of trouble. But he then discovers that Molly has been sleeping with other men and that Tom is not the baby's father at all. Tom leaves Molly to her fate, for she clearly does not love him one bit.

Later, though Tom makes love to Molly again, showing that he is not morally perfect, either. Tom carries on other affairs as well, even though he claims to love Sophia. Again, Tom's behavior hardly shows good morals here, and he ends up in plenty of trouble for it.

Blifil continues in his corruption, courting Sophia and bragging so much that he convinces Allworthy that Sophia really loves him. She does not. Blifil also slanders Tom, and Allworthy banishes the latter on Blifil's false accusations. He later tries to get up another conspiracy against Tom but is caught.

In the end, everyone gets his or her due, for the most part. Tom and Sophia marry, but only after Tom sincerely repents of his lack of chastity. Blifil is sent away, but Tom forgives him (to a point) and provides him with some money. Tom is revealed as Allworthy's nephew and heir, and he settles down to a virtuous and generous life at the end of the story, having corrected his own distortions of behavior and establishing (with Sophia's help) a sound moral code.

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