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February 8, 2006


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ENL 4122
English Novel


Spring 2006
Time: Monday and Wednesday
11 - 12:15 pm


Class 9

Reading Assignment:

Feb. 8 Tom Jones Books X-XII, through p. 442
    Post #4 (Group B)
    Historical Annotation: Tony Incremona's presentation

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Class Objectives:

  • To discuss Sophia's journey
  • To discuss the interpolated stories (Mrs. Fitzpatrick)
  • To discuss the scene at Upton -- novel's center

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Notes and Discussion Questions:

1. Sophia's Journey

The name "Sophia" means "wisdom." In what sense is Sophia's journey allegorical like Jones' journey?

Compare the lessons of Tom and Sophia.

What is at stake for each on the journey? What is the apparent objective? What is the actual objective (as their understandings become clearer?)

In what ways are these lessons critical of society? Of love? Of class issues? Of matters of judgment? Of sexual morality?

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2. Interpolated Stories

Analyze the story of Mrs. Fitzpatrick 11.4-5 (375-382).

To what extent does Mrs. Fitzpatrick love Mr. Fitzpatrick before they marry?

What desires are indulged in the marriage?

Compare this bad marriage with the marriages of Squire Western and those described by Mrs. Western. What are the compensations of a loveless marriage?

What is Sophia to learn from this tale?

How does this tale balance against the Man of the Hill's tale

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3. The Scene at Upton

In between the two extended tales of this middle section is the scene at Upton. Comment upon the structure of the narrative here.

It would be a feat of concision to explain what happens at the Inn at Upton briefly. Still, it is the pivotal point where the paths of Jones and Sophia cross – where she was following him, he gets “waylaid” and ends up inadvertantly following her. What is the significance of this moment in the novel?

What role does the muff play in this chaotic and finely orchestrated scene?

How does Sophia react when she learns of Jones’ behavior with Mrs. Waters?

How does Sophia react when she learns of Jones’ using her name? Why is that more significant?

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4. Historical suggestions

Jenny Cameron



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