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The Adventures of Tom Jones, A Foundling is a classic Picaresque novel by Henry Fielding, telling the adventures of the title protagonist, a deeply honorable Handsome Lech. It is full of social Parody both subtle and ham-handed. It has been adapted as a film (1963), a TV series (1997), and in opera form.

Not to be confused with the singer.


Tom Jones contains examples of: Edit

  • Adaptation Distillation: Both the 1960s film and the 1990s miniseries are very faithful to the spirit of the novel and to its content to a fairly large extent (more so in the latter). The latter arguably improves on the book in its presentation of Sophia and its decision to pair Partridge and Mrs. Honour
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Fielding loves to comment on the tropes he is using.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Squire Western is a classic example, and played by Brian Blessed no less in the 1990s series.
  • Bowdlerization: The 1997 miniseries lost some very explicit sex when it was aired in the United States.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The 1963 film was one of the earliest movies for a character to directly address the audience. It actually happens several times, but the scene at the inn is by far the most memorable.
  • Chick Magnet / Chivalrous Pervert / Handsome Lech: Ladies really love Tom Jones, and he usually returns the favors and, being a naturally kind-hearted fella, genuinely cares about them. At different times, he shows traits of all three tropes.
  • Erotic Eating: Used in the scene with Tom and Mrs. Waters and famously filmed in the 1960s version.
  • Heroic Bastard: Tom himself
  • Hollywood Atheist: Inverted with Square who basically chooses atheism as an excuse for wrongdoing (because, you know, atheists are immoral) and admittedly, he reforms at the end with a death bed conversion. On the other hand, he's still always more likable than the Holier Than Thou Thwackum and it's clear that he could have been a perfectly good person following his atheistic philosophy.
  • Incest Is Relative: Tom Jones, you need to be more careful about whom you sleep with...
  • Lemony Narrator: Micheál Mac Liammóir's deadpan delivery in the film.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Except Blifil. As another example of his hypocritical virtue.
  • Meaningful Name: Oh, where to begin...
      • Sophie = Wisdom (our hero is on a quest to...dare I say...acquire Sophie???)
      • Mr. Square = Very severe and sharp edged.
      • Squire Western = Is a pig (yes, this was intentional)
      • Squire Allworthy = Is the kindest, nicest, and actively most-good character in the story.
      • Mr. Thwackum = Need I spell it out?
  • Only a Flesh Wound: In the movie: "Mr Jones, you've broken your arm!" "Indeed madame, but I have another to walk you home."
  • Really Gets Around: Most of the ladies in the novel are not averse to promiscuity.
  • Sadist Teacher: Thwackum.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Fielding's earlier novel Joseph Andrews.