Bridget Allworthy: Character Analysis in Tom Jones

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      Squires Allworthy and Western have a sister each. Bridget Allworthy, for whom her brother "had a very tender affection" (Book I, Chapter 2), had a polished exterior, but was selfish and rather low-spirited. While, or because, she is herself the mother of the foundling (Tom Jones), she not only encourages suspicions against Jenny (a young innocent country girl), who had nursed Bridget 'in a violent fit of illness' a few months back, but makes a fine show of disgust at her, supposed immorality. Allworthy's sister marries in her middle age (about forty):

At this season love is of a more serious, and steady nature than what sometimes shows itself in the younger parts of life. The love of girls is uncertain, capricious, and so foolish that we cannot always discover what the young lady would be at...
Now we are never at a loss to discern this in women about forty; for as such) grave, serious, and experienced ladies well know their own meaning, so it is always very easy for a man of the least sagacity to discover it with the utmost certainty. (Book 1, Chapter II)

      The cold and coarse character of Bridget Allworth's love is here presented with fine irony.

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