This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
: A Foundling. She is a kind of a new type of female figure in literature who possesses new personal qualities which were not present in the characters of previous women in literary works (ex. Pamela). Sophia is a beautiful girl and there is no one who would not be charmed with her appearance or with her personality. Her personal qualities are comparable to her beauty. She is warm-hearted, awesome, generous. She is the feminine ideal of those times. Sophia has been living in the house of her aunt, Mrs. Western, who was very educated and worldly-wise. Sophia is coming back home to keep running the household of her father. She is an obedient daughter, she does everything possible to cheer her father and she does not contradict him. But, many things change when she falls in love with Tom Jones and their love is uncovered. In these, sometimes extreme, situations are arisen her qualities which are considered to be modern in the point of view of women’s position in society. Different characteristics can be seen in relationships with her father Squire Western, with her aunt Mrs. Western and with Tom Jones. The development of these qualities is seen throughout the novel, from the most noteless expressions to the more visible ones. Situations which give the basics for the demonstration are mainly the run-away from the house of her father, the event in the Upton, the conversations between Sophia and Mrs. Western and the final dialogue with Tom Jones. In the relationship with her father, Squire Western, in the beginning, Sophia is completely obedient daughter. She loves him; there is not bigger pleasure for her than to make her father cheerful by playing him some childish song twice or three times. And in the contrary, father does everything she wants; he also loves her like the father can love the most. Sophia never had a single disput with her father, till this unlucky affair of Blifil, on any account except in defence of her mother, whom she had loved most tenderly, though she lost her in the eleventh year of herage.1 For her, the father is absolute authority and it is considered to be her due to be obedient, to listen to him, to make him cheerful. When she falls in love with Tom Jones, she knows there is no possibility that her father would agree with the marriage. When the misunderstanding rises to the situation when Sophia’s father wants to marry her with Blifil, she expresses her opinion about Blifil, but she puts up only little resistance or aversion against the violent behaviour of Mr. Western.
If there is no way how to avoid the marriage with Blifil, she runs away. This step is quite dangerous, but she is led by desperation and love. And Sophia, with all the gentleness which a woman can have, had all the spirit which she ought to have.2 It was needed the great amount of courage to runaway in the midnight. All what had led Sophia to this step was the view of unhappy and miserable life with Blifil whom she hates. Sophia is still vexed between the due to obey the father, her wish to rescue her from the miserable life and to save her love with Tom. Sophia is certain that she would never marry without the agreement of her father, so she hope that she shall not marry only on her father’s order when she does not agree with. This Sophia’s opinion is the opinion of really modern woman. It is not the expression of headless rebellion, but she still respects her father, but also herself. Sophia is not only the doll, she knows her value. The extreme situation forces her to make indeed important decision. Her modern thoughts start to appear only after she is faced to the vision of the life full of unhappiness. Sophia has been living in the house of her aunt, Mrs. Western, for three years. Mrs. Western was educating her and for Sophia her aunt was as her other mother. Aunt was very educated and worldly-wise. For Sophia, she was also some kind of authority, as her father, she also has been respecting her. Mrs. Western was the person who caused that the love between Sophia and Tom was discovered. Even her father and aunt try to persuade her to marry Blifil, both of them with different methods, she does not agree. "Indeed, madam," replied Sophia, "I shall never marry a man I dislike. If I promise my father never to consent to any marriage contrary to his inclinations, I think I may hope he will never force me into that state contrary to my own."3 Sohpia disagree with aunt´s opinions that Sophia´s attitude to Blifil is not important because there is important only wealth and Sophia´s refusal will dishonour their family. "I hope, madam," cries Sophia, with a little elevation of voice, "I shall never do anything to dishonour my family; but as for Mr. Blifil, whatever may be the consequence, I am resolved against him, and no force shall prevail in his favour."4 For Sophia, the wealth means nothing, or nothing so important for what she would be willing to spend the rest of her life in unhappiness with the man she does not love. When Mrs. Western saved Sophia from the room where she was imprisoned by her father after he had found her in London, she was trying to persuade her to marry Lord Fellamar, Sophia tells her about the lord’s try to rape her. Her aunt is indignant, but still spell bound by the wealth of Lord Fellamar. Sophia argues very rationally. "You will pardon me, 2
dear madam," said Sophia, "if I make one observation: you own you have had many lovers, and the world knows it, even if you should deny it. You refused them all, and, I am convinced, one coronet at least among them." "You say true, dear Sophy," answered she; "I had once the offer of a title." "Why, then," said Sophia, "will you not suffer me to refuse this once?" ..."Well, madam," continued Sophia, "and why may not I expect to have a second, perhaps, better than this? You are now but a young woman, and I am convinced would not promise to yield to the first lover of fortune, nay, or of title too. I am a very young woman, and sure I need not despair." 5 In conversations with her aunt Sophia shows ingenuity, intelligence and rational argumentation. Even she respects her, she is able to express her own opinions even if they are in the opposite with the aunt’s ones. In the relationship with Tom Jones the modernity of Sophia is the most visible. The most important qualities of Sophia which are shown is the activity, candidness, courage, self esteem. The first moment, when Sophia realise the first positive feelings is after Tom was trying to rescue her little sparrow. She admires many of his personal qualities (honesty, openness, chivalry). but, of course, his appearance plays also its role. In the beginning, her love is only platonic, she dreams about him, she behaves like classic girl in love, but on the other hand she is awaken to the impossibility of fulfilment of this love because of the social inequality and because she knows her father will never agree with the marriage. And she decides to never tell anyone about it. However, in Tom’s presence, she unpurposely expresses some little remarquable expressions of her feelings. This is cased by her incapability to effectuate herself. But actually she does not sit quietly in the corner, when Tom tells her about his love, she tells him she is the same, not just waits for his another activity. However, after she is forced by her father to marry Mr. Blifil, she leaves the home because of herself and because of Tom. She is not willing to obey father’s order, even she is not absolutely sure about the correctness of her actions. She wants to rejoin Mr. Jones, but after she discovers his affair, she stops to be sure about Tom. The strange event in Upton’s inn hurts Sophia the most of all the things. When it happened Sophia stayed for the night in the same inn as Tom, Partridge and servant Susan tells her, Tom is spending the night with another woman. She can not believe in it, but after she had sent the servant to check whether Tom is in his bed, and the answer is negative, she takes up her pride and courage, and leaves the house without meeting with Tom, just with leaving the muff with her name in the Tom’s 3
room. She wants to make him realise she was there and by his mistake their meeting is lost and to make him realise he hurt her by the infidelity. She does not wait for him, but in the rest of her heart Sophia hopes he will follow her. And after the proposal for the marriage given to Mrs. Bellaston, Sophia definitely realise Tom is not perfect, as no one is, but she is not sure whether she still really wants him. There is visible her pride in valuation of Tom’s behaviour. Sophia does not want to demean herself in order to try to gain man she loved. She is not certain about the love itself. When she refuses the request of Mrs. Miller to explain her actions of Tom, she is bored by steadily be harmed with other and other new bad information about Tom. She accepts the letter even she resolved herself to do it never again. But:“The letter lay upon the table no longer than till Mrs. Miller was out of sight; for then Sophia opened and read it.“6 Even Sophia was angry, she gives another chance to explain all what had happened, and all becasuse she still loves Tom, even if he hurt her. After everything is explained and it is discovered Jones is Allworthy´s nephew, Sophia refuses the Allworthy´s proposal for the marriage with Jones. Even Squire Western agrees with it, because now, they are socially equal, she is resistant. She knows all the good qualities of Tom, but she does not want to marry him, because of all the things she had to pass through. In the final conversation with Tom Jones, her independence is shown in the cleanest way. Tom is praying for the mercy and Sophia answers him in this way: "I think, Mr. Jones," said she, "I may almost depend on your own justice, and leave it to yourself to pass sentence on yourown conduct." 7Sophia is still resistible and proud. "By heaven, by all that is sacred!" said Jones, "it never was out of my heart. The delicacy of your sex cannot conceive the grossness of ours, nor how little one sort of amour has to do with the heart." "I will never marry a man," replied Sophia, very gravely, "who shall not learn refinement enough to be as incapable as I am myself of making such a distinction." 8 She clearly and decidedly lists her requirements; she fixes the conditions under which she may think about the marriage with Tom, she wants to check the reliability of Jones. She wants to make him to fight for her much more than he has already fought, make him better person and reach Tom realize the bad thing what he has done. However, she gets married with Tom next day, because she wants to obey her father’s order. But she obeys because she wants, not because she is only enforced.
The character of Sophia Western is modern in many different viewpoints. However, on the other hand, she is still traditionally portrayed woman. She admires her father and as total authority, she loves him unconditionally and she is really just little against violent behaviour of her father. This is in the opposition to her reactions when Tom has hurt her. She becomingly shows her opinions and she defends herself. In comparison with other famous and well-known literary character Pamela, Sophia is really more sophisticated, more modern in her opinions. The same is the goodness, innocence of both characters. Sophia is not diametrical different from the traditional image of female, but her thoughts in which there are the beginnings of the modern thinking of women is the big step onward in the picture of woman.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.