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Pre-reading exercises:

1. What are the characteristic features of English Enlightenment?


2. What literary trends existed in England in the 18th century?
3. What were the most popular genres of English Literature during Enlightenment period? What were the reasons for them to be
so popular?
4. What do you know about Henry Fielding? What were the sources that influenced him? What was his creative activitys
impact on the further development of English literature?
5. Recollect the plot of his major work The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. Name the main characters and characterize
them. Pay additional attention to the meaning of their names in English. In what way does such a choice influence the
reader?
6. Read the title of the extract give below. What is the meaning of this expression battle royal? What story would you
anticipate on reading such a title?

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling


by Henry Fielding

A Battle Royal
Thwackum and Blifil have heard Tom talking to a girl in the woods and want to know who she is. The girl runs off while Tom faces his two
opponents.
... And now Thwackum, having first darted some livid lightning from his fiery eyes, began to thunder forth, 'Fie upon it! Fie
upon it!1 Mr Jones. Is it possible you should be the person?' - 'You see,' answered Jones, 'it is possible I should be here.' -
'And who,' said Thwackum, 'is that wicked slut with you?' - 'If I have any wicked slut with me,' cries Jones, 'it is 5
possible I shall not let you know who she is.'- 'I command you to tell me immediately,' says Thwackum: 'and I would not have
you imagine, young man, that your age, though it hath2 somewhat abridged the purpose of tuition, hath totally taken away
the authority of the master. The relation of the master and scholar is indelible; as, indeed, all other relations are; for they
all derive their original from heaven. I would have you think yourself, therefore, as much obliged to obey me now, as when I
taught you your first rudiments.' 'I believe you would,' cries Jones, 'but that will not happen, unless you had the same
birchen argument to convince me.' 'Then I must tell you plainly,' said Thwackum, 'I am resolved to discover the wicked wretch.'
'And I must tell you plainly,' returned Jones, 'I am resolved you shall not.' Thwackum then offered to advance, and
Jones laid hold of his arms; which Mr Blifil endeavoured to rescue, declaring, 'he would not see his old master insulted.'
Jones now finding himself engaged with two, thought it necessary to rid himself of one of his antagonists as soon as
possible. He, therefore, applied to the weakest first; and, letting the parson go, he directed a blow at the young squire's
breast, which luckily taking place, reduced him to measure his length on the ground.
Thwackum was so intent on the discovery, that, the moment he found himself at liberty, he stept forward directly into the
fern, without any great consideration of what might, in the mean time, befall his friend; but he had advanced a very few
paces into the thicket, before Jones having defeated Blifil, overtook the parson, and dragged him backward by the skirt of his
coat.
This parson had been a champion in his youth, and had won much honour by his fist, both at school and at the
university. He had now, indeed, for a great number of years, declined the practice of that noble art; yet was his courage full as
strong as his faith, and his body no less strong than either. He was moreover, as the reader may, perhaps, have conceived,
somewhat irascible in his nature. When he looked back, therefore, and saw his friend stretched out on the ground, and
found himself at the same time so roughly handled by one who had formerly been only passive in all conflicts between
them, (a circumstance which highly aggravated the whole) his patience at length gave way; he threw himself into a posture
of offence, and collecting all his force, attacked Jones in the front, with as much impetuosity as he had formerly attacked him
in the rear.
Our heroe3 received the enemy's attack with the most undaunted intrepidity, and his bosom resounded with the blow.
This he presently returned with no less violence, aiming likewise at the parson's breast; but he dexterously drove down
the fist of Jones, so that it reached only his belly, where two pounds of beef and as many of pudding were then deposited,
and whence4 consequently no hollow sound could proceed. Many lusty blows, much more pleasant as well as easy to have seen,
than to read or describe, were given on both sides: at last a violent fall in which Jones had thrown his knees into Thwackum's
breast, so weakened the latter, that victory had been no longer dubious, had not Blifil, who had now recovered his strength,
again renewed the fight, and, by engaging with Jones, given the parson a moment's time to shake his ears, and to regain his
breath.
And now both together attacked our heroe, whose blows did not retain that force with which they had fallen at first; so

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Fie upon it! : Archaic expression of disgust
2
hath: has
3
heroe: hero
4
whence: where
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weakened was he by his combat with Thwackum: for though the pedagogue chose rather to play solos on the human
instrument, and had been lately used to those only, yet he still retained enough of his ancient knowledge to perform his part
very well in a duet.
The victory, according to modern custom, was like to be decided by numbers, when, on a sudden, a fourth pair of fists
appeared in the battle, and immediately paid their compliments to the parson; and the owner of them at the same time, crying
out 'Are not you ashamed, and be damn'd to you, to fall two of you upon one?'
The battle, which was of the kind, that for distinction's sake is called ROYAL, now raged with the utmost violence during a
few minutes; till Blifil being a second time laid sprawling by Jones, Thwackum condescended to apply for quarter to his
new antagonist, who was now found to be Mr Western himself: for in the heat of the action none of the combatants had
recognized him.
In fact, that honest squire, happening, in his afternoon's walk with some company, to pass through the field where the bloody
battle was fought, and having concluded from seeing three men engaged, that two of them must be on a side, he hastened
from his companions, and with more gallantry than policy, espoused the cause of the weaker party. By which generous
proceeding, he very probably prevented Mr Jones from becoming a victim to the wrath of Thwackum, and to the pious
friendship which Blifil bore his old master; for besides the disadvantage of such odds, Jones had not yet sufficiently recovered
the former strength of his broken arm. This reinforcement, however, soon put an end to the action, and Jones with his ally
obtained the victory.

Comprehension questions:
1. What does Tom Jones refuse to tell Thwackum?
2. What expressions does Thwackum use to refer to the lady hiding?
3. What excuse does Blifil make for getting involved in the fight?
4. While Tom is fighting with Blifil what does Thwackum do? Is he concerned about Blifils well-being?
5. How does Thwackum win honor at school and at the University?
6. When Tom was Thwackums student, why was he passive in all conflicts between them? In what sense did Thwackum, the teacher,
attack Tom from the rear?
7. Why did no hollow sound emerge from the parsons belly?
8. What saved Thwackum from being beatten by Tom?
9. Why does Squire Western feel that the parson should be ashamed of himself?
10. Apart from the fact that he was fighting against two adversaries, what made Tom Joness chances of obtaining victory slim?

Vocabulary Practice:
1. Explain in English the meaning of the following words:
An ally, the parson, a slut, tuition, dexterously, wretch, proceeding, the fern, first rudiments;
2. Find in the text, translate within the context and learn the following words: to dart, to abridge, to be indelible, to derive
smth from smwh, , to endeavour to do smth (to rescue), to find oneself engaged with smb, to (get) rid of
smth/smb, to be so intent on doing smth, to befall smb (his friend), the thicket, to conceive, a circumstance, to
aggravate, impetuosity, to aim at smth, to regain the breath, to do smth on a sudden, to pay compliments to smb, to
rage, to apply for quarter to smb, to hasten, to espouse, to become a victim to smth/smb,
3. Find 5 synonyms and 2 antonyms to the following words !!!MIND THE CONTEXT!!!: livid, hollow, lusty, dubious;
4. Find the synonyms of these words in the context: devout, passionate, irritable, anger, strengthening, bravery;

Grammar practice:
Comment on the following grammatical phenomena: He had now, indeed, for a great number of years, declined the practice of
that noble art; yet was his courage full as strong as his faith, and his body no less strong than either.
Give an example of your own using the construction of the same type.

Translation tasks:
1. Translate these expressions: the same birchen argument to convince; reduced him to measure his length on the
ground; the skirt of the coat; had won much honour by his fist; attacked him in the rear; his bosom
resounded with the blow; The victory, according to modern custom, was like to be decided by numbers;
till Blifil being a second time laid sprawling by Jones; with more gallantry than policy; the disadvantage of
such odds;
2. Translate the following sentences into English (in written): 1. He had now, indeed, for a great number of years, declined
the practice of that noble art; yet was his courage full as strong as his faith, and his body no less strong than either. 2.
Many lusty blows, much more pleasant as well as easy to have seen, than to read or describe, were given on both sides:
at last a violent fall in which Jones had thrown his knees into Thwackum's breast, so weakened the latter, that victory
had been no longer dubious, had not Blifil, who had now recovered his strength, again renewed the fight, and, by

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engaging with Jones, given the parson a moment's time to shake his ears, and to regain his breath.

Stylistic analysis:
1. Which narrative mode is used in the text? (narration of events, dialogue, description)
2. Is the narrator internal or external to the story? Does the reader see the episode from more than one point of view?
3. Find a sentence in which the narrator addresses the reader directly.
Find a line in the text where the narrator refers to the art of writing.
Who does the pronoun 'our' refer to in line 54?
Would you define the relationship between the narrator and the reader as close or distant?
Which of the following words would you choose to define the narrator?
*Detached * Unobtrusive * Omnipresent *Interfering *Objective * Humorous *Other:_______________
4. Before becoming a novelist Henry Fielding was asuccessful playwright. What aspect of his novel-writing was clearly influenced by his
experience in the theatre? What elements of the passage you have just read would make it suitable for a stage performance?
5. What is the way the fight described? Is it realistic or comic? What are the means of producing this effect on the reader?
6. Are the characters in the passage presented through: their words and actions?
their thoughts and feelings?
7. Is there any evidence in the text that Fielding is interested in the inner worlds of his characters?
8. Find information in the text that suggests that Thwackum:
is authoritarian;
has a fiery temper;
is gluttonous;
has no concern for others;
inflicts corporal punishment on his students;
has always enjoyed physical combat.
What is the meaning of his name? Why does Fielding give the character this name? Thwackum is a teacher and a parson. Is his behaviour fitting for an
educator and a man of God?
9. Fielding described his novel as a comic epic in prose. Can you identify both comic and epic elements in the passage you
have read?

Additional information to help you


Narration
In a novel the person who is telling the story is referred to as 'the narrator'. The narrator may be first-person or third-person.
The first-person narrator has a part in the story. He speaks as T and usually talks about himself although he may also
narrate a story about other people.
The third-person narrator stands outside the story. He always refers to the characters by name or uses the third-person
pronouns 'he', 'she' or 'they'.
The third-person narrator may be omniscient or non-omniscient.
The omniscient narrator knows everything about the fictional world he is describing. He reports on all the
characters and events and knows not only what characters do but also their thoughts and motivations.
The non-omniscient narrator tells the story in the third person, but limits himself to what is experienced, thought and felt
by a single character or at most by a very limited number of characters in the story.
The narrator may also be intrusive or non-intrusive.
The intrusive narrator has opinions about the characters and expresses his views on the personalities or events.
The non-intrusive narrator does not comment or evaluate. He remains impartial and describes without intruding.
Referring to the definitions above and the passage you have read, explain why the narrator in Henry Fielding's Tom Jones is defined as a
third-person omniscient intrusive narrator.
The intrusive narrator usually openly addresses the reader to comment or evaluate on what is happening in the story. He may summarise
past events, anticipate future developments or offer moral generalisations on topics that are related or unrelated to the plot.

Read the following extract from Tom Jones. Add an intrusion in which the narrator addresses the reader directly. Example:

Mr Allworthy had been absent a full quarter of a year in London. / regret, reader, that I cannot tell you exactly what he was doing because it
was a delicate matter of a private nature.

From Tom Jones, Chapter III


Mr Allworthy had been absent a full quarter of a year in London, on some very particular business (...) He came to his
house very late in the evening and after a short supper with his sister, retired much fatigued to his chamber. Here, having spent
some minutes on his knees (...) he was preparing to step into bed, when, upon opening the cloaths, to his great surprise, he
beheld an infant wrapt up in some coarse linnen in a sweet and profound sleep, between his sheets. He stood some time lost in
astonishment at this sight; but as good nature had always the ascendant in his mind, he soon began to be touched with
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sentiments of compassion for the little wretch before him.