Tom Jones Essay

1638 Words Dec 30th, 2011 7 Pages
Joy Thompson
Mrs. Larson
AP British Literature and Composition
December 11, 2011
Refusal to Return: Finding Bliss at Upton Although Tom Jones by Henry Fielding is appropriately known as a comic novel written to no set of absolute rules, the work shows many characteristics similar to epics. In epic novels the main protagonist is normally known for following a set series of events called “the hero’s journey.” The hero’s journey is often a three part adventure consisting of a departure, an initiation, and a return, through which the protagonist learns much about their strengths and weaknesses having departed from their “world” to another. In the new “world” they face challenges, enemies, and temptations that usually lead to
…show more content…
Although debatably not the main temptress of the novel, Mrs. Waters whom Tom meets prior to his stop at Upton does a considerably good job at luring Tom to sleep with her, which in turn gives him bliss in this “other world” and causes a mindset in Tom Jones that he never needs to return to his lover, his home, or in fact his original world. “Now Mrs. Waters and our Hero had no sooner sat down together, than the former began to play this Artillery upon the latter” (329). Tom has a hard time resisting the temptations of this woman. From this personal weakness at Upton and of others later in the book, Tom eventually learns to resist the lure of women. Back to Tom’s refusal to return. As previously mentioned Tom had been kicked out of Allworthy’s estate and after joining the army meets Benjamin Partridge. On their way to Gloucestor, they stop at an inn in Upton for a considerable amount of time and Tom meets Mrs. Waters who he begins to sleep with. At the time his mindset hinders his ability to continue his journey and receive an epic hero’s needed lessons in order to return. “In some cases, the hero does not wish to flee the newfound world – this is his ‘Refusal of the Return.’ He may hold a belief that those still in the former world cannot comprehend what the hero has learned. The hero may take refuge in his immortal bliss accompanied by the Goddess – free from the burdens of ordinary life”

Related Documents