Tom Jones Essay

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In the following excerpt, Drake examines the manners of Fielding's characters in Tom Jones.

History remembers places as well as times, and the space of history is profoundly social rather than purely phenomenal or material. It is not produced wholly by individual psychology and yet cannot be reduced to abstract or natural space. Literary realism tends to be measured by one or the other of these extremes, as psychological realism or realism of naturalistic detail. Thus placing Fielding in the realist pantheon requires considerable exertion, if not outright violence. His scenes are starkly devoid of naturalistic detail, and he is far less concerned with accumulating the minutiae of psychological response than is his rival Richardson. But Fielding makes no claim to be a realist: his aim is to describe "not Men, but Manners." And yet it is precisely by describing manners—by turning to the realm...

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This section contains 246 words
(approx. 1 page 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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