AD's English Literature : Realist in Temperament and Artistic Purpose in Tom Jones: Society and Manners of 18th Century

Realist in Temperament and Artistic Purpose in Tom Jones: Society and Manners of 18th Century

Fielding who is a realist in temperament and artistic purpose has a deep interest in presenting the life of his time. He is concerned with the everyday of diverse state of society and he presents these in all their meanness and glory, vanity and sublimity. Rightly does cayami8na observe that ‘the quality of the realism in these novels assures them precious documentary value. Unlike Richardson whose haly - conscious aim was to evolve a superior and more refined world, fielding’s sole task was to depict the age as he saw it. Therefore he presents a vast panorama of English social life, declaring at the very outset that he was concerned with mores holmium multorum vidit or the manners of many men.
The novel begins its presentation of social life with the countryside. All the divers range of rustic manners from that of the highest echelons to the lowest are to be seen in the first six books. At the upon reach’s of such society are the great land owners squire All worthy and Square Western. Although industrialism had begun to make its effect felt, the country-side was still under the dominance of an almost scandal society. 

Although Allworthy is not broadly representative of his social class, Square Western certainly is. For 20th century readers he epitomizes the fox-hunting landlord of folklore. But in the 18th century he was nary much really, what with his diver’s horse and hinting dogs. His sole entertainment and occupation consisted in looking after these horses even better than his daughter and spending days and night in the country side with companions, hunting game. Of an irascible temper, he had an authoritarian attitude and would force even has own daughter to marry a person she detested. At the lower levels are the simple villagers who considered violation of chastity a heinous crime and spent most of their in retour-mongering.

Fielding presents in great detail even the architectural style, the working law and justice, poor conditions of doctors and the inefficiency of public school. Speaking of Allworth’s Gothic style of building Fielding observers that ‘There was an air if grander in it that struck you with war, and rivaled the beauties of the lest Grecian architecture, the novel also exposes the defective system of law and court. Nast of the judges were partial in their judgments, and were affected by various factors, personal as well as impersonal. The whacks of contemporary society too are presented.

To say the truth every physician hath almost his  Favorite disease, to which he ascribes all the victories  obtained over human nature.A reference to the inefficiency of public schools is also made. Although thought their morals would escape all the darner of being corrupted to which they would be unavoidably exposed in any public’s school or university. Like most contemporary well off men he therefore decided to educate Tom and Bifid at home through tutors.

The next six books of Jom Jones reflect the conditions prevailing on the roads. Robbers and villains were frequently mint with. It was very difficult for, set alone young woman to pass through the forests or lonely roads in the night. Mrs. Honor tells Sophia.

"I will follow your ladyship through the world; but your ladyship had almost as good alone for I should not be able to defend you if any robbers or other villains should meet eighth you."

It is noteworthy that Mrs. Water is almost robbed before Tom rescues her and later Tom Lamely is   w3ay laid by a highway man. The morals on the road are fairly loose so that nobody would mind when Jom spends a night with Mrs. Water at an inn.

The fashionable society of London, too suffered from great moral laxity when Tom reaches London, he receivers a parcel containing a mask and a ticket to a party from ‘the queen of the fairies. It is actually a gift from Mrs. Bellaston, the kind of dissolute woman with which the London society abounded. A fairly old lady, she is sexually attracted by the youth and vigor of Tom and would therefore lavish a lot of gills on him. But she would consider the bandage of marriage to be beneath her dignity. The Lords ate no different from the Ladies. Lady Ballston easily incites Lord Flamer to launch a sensual upon Sophia. Thus the words of the Man of the Hill about the in cities are quite justified.

Thus the importance of Fuelling from historical point of views is that he is the first writer to focus the novel in such a way that it brought the whole world, as we it , within the scope of this rapidly maturing literary form. 

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