Tom Jones Essay

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Norvell is an independent educational writer who specializes in English and literature and holds degrees in linguistics and journalism. In this essay, Norvell examines Fielding's portrayal of teachers in Tom Jones.

Among the significant characters in Tom Jones, three are teachers. In a story of multi-layered and intertwined ironies, these characters, individually and collectively, are especially rich. While Fielding makes clear that all of his characters point beyond themselves, he draws the teachers in such a way that they point obviously—and unflatteringly—to certain groups. This is especially true of the tutors Thwackum and Square.

Teachers, of course, are supposed to be wiser than most, since they are entrusted to instruct others. Fielding's teachers, however, are not wise, nor are they ethical. Therein lies one of the book's many ironies.

Mr. Partridge, the wrongly accused schoolmaster, is the first of the three to appear...

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This section contains 1,263 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tom Jones Study Guide
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Tom Jones from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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