The Man of the Hill episode is the part of the novel Tom Jones (a foundling). The novel is published in 1749, London by Henry Fielding.
The significance of the man of the hill episode is that the author sees the old man as future Tom Jones for example; the life which the old man has lived till now, resembles Tom`s life so according to Fielding may be Tom is going to be like The Man of the Hill. In The man of the hill episode the old man shows the life of 17th century England, while Tom is describing 18th century.
The man of the Hill episode is representation of the old man`s ‘History’ and ‘story’. Therefore, Fielding`s Purpose ostensibly is an integration of his history and story into that of Tom Jones. So the significance of the man of the hill episode is that the history and story presented by Fielding in the old man`s words from the meeting of Tom Jones and Partridge, is the extraordinary adventure, which is not merely in terms of an incident involving robbery and physical attack but it is Tom`s and partridge`s confrontation with the person who went through the highs and lows of life and experienced a great deal of pain. That is how the account of life of the Man of the Hill is the story of an unhappy man which Tom and partridge hear with uncommon interests. Hence, The Man of the Hill episode is a tale with a beginning, when the man of the hill was a child and an end, when the man alone after a lapse of a whole active life. Therefore, the “Man alone” could be a king of globe.
According to Fielding`s point of view of mankind The Man of the Hill is an old man who has lived his life in seclusion for a long time. The old man has talked of events of his personal and social life that took place in the late 17th century England. This seems to be an intention of the author as the author sees it, Tom is the discerning, critical, evolving, error- committing and learning character, hence the account of the Man of the Hill is part of Tom`s education. An important aspect of the personality of the Man of the Hill is that he has traveled a great deal of during his life from Oxford to London and many small town and villages, by signifying the same Fielding here refers in such elaboration in terms to the atmosphere in Oxford and London. Fielding deliberately builds up a contrast between the old man and Tom in spite of many similarities. Tom has been a bastard child, a foundling but also a kind gentleman, If we look into Tom`s surrounding, who would take care of him to defend and protect, It is Squire Allworthy who is an exception for him.
While on the other hand there are hordes of cheat, thieves and rogues roaming around the street who might offer an alternative path of career to an able- bodied young man aspiring to gain riches and the attendant comforts. Similarly, the Man of the Hill in during his time has joined the groups of gamblers and Tom could equally well join such a people against whom he happens to defend hapless like men and women. Since both have common and uncommon amount of morality and fellow- feeling, they somehow manage to steer clear of vile ways.
Also, there is a contrast between the Man of the Hill episode and Tom Jones as Tom`s character interprets the 18th century society as a playfield for the sporting exploits of a hero in compare to the old man`s seclusion of the Man of the Hill which is also stands struggling and participatory character. Tom who understands the old man`s scenario differently, the pursuit of goal, the endeavor that the existing structure allows a hero equipped with the self- assurance of a competitor, which lends an immense appeal to Tom`s character. Tom is a fine combination of broad virtues, such as honesty and truthfulness and an amorality. By contrasting Tom and the Man of the Hill it shows the Fielding`s intellectual- perspective tilt towards the successful completion of Tom`s journey through life.
However, Fielding unquestionably emphasizes in the Man of the Hill episode, Fielding`s characterization, irony, method of narration, and so on is a linkage between the vision of society and the deployment of various techniques by the author to aquaint the reader with the world in which the author has lived.
Therefore, the significance of the Man of the Hill episode lies in the more strictly realistic, narrowly historical than the history of Tom Jones. Fielding`s motive here signifies that he wants to create a successful meeting of Tom Jones with the Man of the Hill so that he could go into the dynamic of Tom`s progress with critiquing presence in the novel. But one such critique William Empson has said that through the old man` s account, Fielding meant to give a survey of all human experience as the old man provides the extreme of degradation and divine ecstasy. This is how, The Man of the Hill episode is the significance in the journey of Tom Jones.