This thesis maintains that ambiguity is an important element in Fielding's Tom Jones and deals with certain ambiguities in the novel. Specifically, it deals with the ambiguous treatment of the following characters: Squire Allworthy, Sophia Western, Mrs. Waters, Black George and Squire Western. An examination of this ambiguity is important to an understanding of Tom Jones.
The thesis maintains that neither Allworthy nor Sophia should be regarded as the moral pillars of Tom Jones: nor should they be regarded as unambiguously good. When we perceive them in more realistic terms, it is also necessary to re-examine our judgments of certain other characters in the novel, specifically, Mrs. Waters and Black George. Is the condemnation these two characters receive justified? This thesis maintains that it is not; therefore, we must re-examine the basis of judgment in Tom Jones. The character of Squire Western provides us with an insight into Fielding's psychology because he shows most clearly the problem of reconciling the rational and the animal in man.
The ambiguity in Tom Jones goes beyond language. We must examine the truth consistency of those principles which seem to be advocated in the novel.
Berry, John C, "Ambiguity in Tom Jones" (1975). EE 4BI6 Electrical Engineering Biomedical Capstones. Paper 69.