Tom Jones : A Subaltern Critique
Keywords:Tom Jones, Henry Feilding, Subaltern, Third-World Readers, Gender, Voices of the Marginalised
Henry Feilding’s Tom Jones offers a picture of English society during the imperial times through a thought-provoking scrutiny of the marginalised voices and indirectly subverts the imperial authority of oppression. Fielding’s defining work which notably laid the foundation of the English novel has often been implored for nuances of morality and sin.
This research paper explores the novel as a prelude to the postmodern subaltern voice against the dominion of the social and economically elite through the emancipatory empowerment of the roguish foundling hero of the picaresque tradition: Tom Jones. The paper seeks to establish the relevance of Tom Jones for the readers of the so- called Third World, as it offers a glimpse into the subaltern aspects of identity of the coloniser. In this context, this paper evaluates the narrative of Fielding’s Tom Jones with reference to two key concerns: exposition of the oppressive power structure and revelation of marginalised oppressed.
Fielding, Henry. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. New York : Penguin Classics, 2005.
Guha, Ranajit. A Subaltern Studies Reader, 1986-1995. University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the Subaltern Speak?.” Can the Subaltern Speak? Reflections on the History of an Idea, 1988.
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