Analysis Of The Book ' The History Of Tom Jones ' Essay examples

1339 Words Nov 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Fielding himself suggests that his book, The History of Tom Jones, is the product of a new province of writing. The novel employs techniques stereotypical of various different genres, including romance, philosophy, and history. The multiple and overlaying genres fit in with an underlying theme whereby Fielding urges to the reader to vigorously question even the most basic of truths. When reading Tom Jones, the words of Voltaire came to mind: “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” () It is in the way Fielding asks his questions, however, by which he should be judged. Fielding employs self-deprecation, satire, and suggestive narrative order in order to demonstrate to the reader the truths which may not be known by book alone. His judgment of his and all books and urging of the reader to question even Tom Jones may at first seem ironic, but is logically necessary for his theme of doubt. The narrative order furthers his agenda, by asking subtle questions while easing the reader into an existential crisis. The effects of which are clear, Tom Jones is a book about questions—not of answers. In the beginning of chapter I, Book IX, Fielding introduces the importance of critically reading and interpreting literature. The narrator acts as a teacher suggesting that his teachings: “may hereafter enable a very indifferent Reader to distinguish what is true and genuine in this historic kind of writing, from what is false and counterfeit” (428). He goes on to criticize…

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