Tom Jones Essay

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Joy Thompson
Mrs. Larson
AP British Literature and Composition
December 11, 2011
Refusal to Return: Finding Bliss at Upton Although Tom Jones by Henry Fielding is appropriately known as a comic novel written to no set of absolute rules, the work shows many characteristics similar to epics. In epic novels the main protagonist is normally known for following a set series of events called “the hero’s journey.” The hero’s journey is often a three part adventure consisting of a departure, an initiation, and a return, through which the protagonist learns much about their strengths and weaknesses having departed from their “world” to another. In the new “world” they face challenges, enemies, and temptations that usually lead to
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Being cast out by Mr. Allworthy and having no hope of being with Sophia, Tom decides to leave his home and set out for Bristol. The speaker if the novel remarks “...we left Mr. Jones...on his Road to Bristol; being determined to seek his Fortune at Sea; or rather, indeed, to fly away from his Fortune o Shore” (234). These unfortunate events led to Tom’s call to adventure and puts him on the road that leads him to the inn at the town of Upton as well as to a state of mind that insulates him from any call to return to his “previous world.” In the traditional epic the call to adventure is normally tied to the reason the hero needs to return. During his time in his new world before he arrives at Upton, Tom befriends Benjamin Partridge, who is actually also a cause of Tom’s going to Upton. According to the epic hero’s journey, Benjamin is considered part of the second step known as tests, friends, and enemies. He is for the most part a good friend to Tom throughout the series of events in the novel. When Tom sets out at his first stop prior to Upton, he decides to join the army and meets Benjamin Partridge when he needs both a haircut and a wound tended. Tom finds fellowship with Benjamin and leaves the army to go with Partridge in another pursuit which leads him to Upton where he goes through the step of the “refusal to return.” “Mr. Jones, and Partridge, or Little Benjamin...having left their last Quarters in the Manner before
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