Thomas Square: Character Analysis in Tom Jones

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      Thomas Square was undoubtedly founded on the plebian philosopher of Salisbury, Thomas Chubb, whom his admiring fellow citizens, at one time, expected to achieve a fame equal to Locke's. Though he had received only an elementary education, he had an active and inquiring mind, and early became interested in the study of theology. In time, he developed a system of his own—a modified form of deism—based mainly on the English translation of the Scriptures, interpreted by his unassisted mother-wit. He published his views in a series of more than fifty tracts, and used also to ventilate them in a little debating society at Salisbury over which he presided. Thomas Square probably regarded, in his heart of hearts, all virtue as a matter of theory only, but though only theoretical, he did hold human nature to be the perfection of all virtue and that vice was a deviation from our nature, in the same manner as deformity of body is. His favorite phrase is the 'natural beauty of virtue', and he measured all actions by the unalterable rule of right and the eternal fitness of things. He was as great a hypocrite as Thwackum and as devoted to his own personal interest. With his faith in human virtue, he could misbehave with Molly Seagrim and yet take up an uncompromising position with regard to his judgment upon Tom in similar circumstances. He, however, expiates a part of his sins by his deathbed repentance. Fielding excuses himself for having appeared to ridicule virtue and religion in the persons of Square and Thwackum and says "Had not Thwackum too much neglected virtue, and Square, religion, in the composition of their several systems, and had not both utterly discarded all natural goodness of heart, they had never been represented as the objects of derision in this history."

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