Would you agree that "Tom Jones is so simple that it makes no great demand on you as a reader"?
Texts make various different types of demands on the reader. Some are densely written and philosophically complex. Others contain many moral ambiguities and challenge the reader's way of looking at the world. Still more contain a plethora of unfamiliar words and phrases. Many have all three of these types of difficulty, and more besides.
Tom Jones was published in 1749. It is probably reasonable to say that any book written so long ago is too remote from our culture to be entirely straightforward. On every page,...
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