Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


Deborah A. Robinson,Ph. D.


During the 1700s capitalism began to flourish and with it, a new mode of thinking was created. People began to focus on individual pursuit and economic individualism and individualism became popular as a result. Both Daniel Defoe's 1722 novel Moll Flanders and Henry Fielding's 1749 novel Tom Jones provide cultural commentary on their respective cultures. Although Defoe and Fielding were only separated by a mere twenty-seven years, they had different views of the society in which they lived in. Defoe commended the business and practical aspect that these theories generated, while Fielding condemned them by examining their moral impact. In Tom Jones, Fielding presents characters that engage in economic individualism and individualism, these characters are hypocrites and exhibit pride and selfishness. On the other hand, Fielding's protagonist portrays communitarianism and serves as an exemplar of how Fielding believed a man should conduct his life.