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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Critical Essays

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❶During a midnight excursion to the town graveyard, Tom and Huck witness the murder of Dr.

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Tom is presented as a mischievous child who delights in such boyish pranks as stealing jam from his Aunt Polly's kitchen, getting into fights with neighborhood boys, and tricking other children into doing his chores. After establishing Tom's rebellious personality in the opening chapter, the novel relates his various adventures in an episodic fashion that weaves several storylines together. Twain emphasizes the trials and misadventures of ordinary childhood through Tom's many escapades at school and his courting of Becky Thatcher, the daughter of a local judge.

These everyday events contrast with the romanticized and extraordinary adventures that Tom shares with his friend Huckleberry Finn. During a midnight excursion to the town graveyard, Tom and Huck witness the murder of Dr. Robinson by Injun Joe, and Tom must later testify in court to save the life of Muff Potter, who has wrongfully been charged with the crime. At another point in the story, Tom and Huck run away to Jackson's Island, a peaceful, wooded island in the middle of the Mississippi, only to be driven by homesickness back to St.

Petersburg, where the townspeople, presuming them to have drowned, have organized their funeral. Tom finds a way out after three days of searching, and emerges from the cave a town hero. The story closes with the discovery of Injun Joe's body and the bestowal on Tom and Huck of a vast treasure left behind by the villain. In his preface to Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain asserted: While the more melodramatic plotlines involving the murder of Dr.

Robinson, the discovery of hidden treasure, and the adventure in McDougal's Cave serve to entertain a younger body of readers, such incidents as the fence whitewashing episode and Tom's "treatment" of the family cat with an intoxicating painkiller are cited as canny portrayals of the nature of childhood.

Other critics, notably John Seelye, view several incidents in the novel, including Tom's encounters with Injun Joe and Tom and Becky's disappearance in the cave, as confrontations between innocence and evil which initiate Tom into the world of adult responsibilities and consequences.

Commentators also contrast Tom's initial resistance to the social order of St. Petersburg with his later acceptance of a prominent place among the wealthy townspeople and his final efforts to "civilize" Huck as evidence that Tom develops from a romantic who shuns the demands of adulthood into a more practical character who is able to achieve maturity without losing his individuality and playfulness.

It has also been observed that the novel burlesques the conventions of romantic fiction through Tom's playacting at heroic roles and his pining for Becky Thatcher, while the motif of Tom as a young hero who achieves success despite his mischievousness pokes fun at the didactic fiction popular in Twain's day, which portrayed unrealistically pious children whose exemplary behavior ensures their eventual material success. Although its reputation has suffered from comparisons to its highly acclaimed sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, most critics agree with Barry Marks's assessment: Inherent in its structure is a song praising mankind—praising his weakness and need for love and security as well as his strength and capacity for achievement, but mostly praising the life which permits man's conflicting motives to exist together in ultimate harmony.

Aldrich has studied the life of A Bad Boy as the pleasant reprobate led it in a quiet old New England town twenty-five or thirty years ago, where in spite of the natural outlawry of boyhood he was more or less part of a settled order of things, and was hemmed in, to some measure, by the traditions of an established civilization.

Clemens, on the contrary, has taken the boy of the Southwest for the hero of his new book, [ The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ] and has presented him with a fidelity to circumstance which loses no charm by being realistic in the highest degree, and which gives incomparably the best picture of life in that region as yet known to fiction. The town where Tom Sawyer was born and brought up is some such idle, shabby little Mississippi River town as Mr. Clemens has so well described in his piloting reminiscences, but Tom belongs to the better sort of people in it, and has been bred to fear God and dread the Sunday-school according to the strictest rite of the faiths that have characterized all the respectability of the West.

His subjection in these respects does not so deeply affect his inherent tendencies but that he makes himself a beloved burden to the poor, tender-hearted old aunt who brings him up with his orphan brother and sister, and struggles vainly with his manifold sins, actual and imaginary.

The limitations of his transgressions are nicely and artistically traced. He is mischievous, but not vicious; he is ready for almost any depredation that involves the danger and honor of adventure, but profanity he knows may provoke a thunderbolt upon the heart of the blasphemer, and he almost never swears; he resorts to any stratagem to keep out of school, but he is not a downright liar, except upon terms of after shame and remorse that make his falsehood bitter to him.

He is cruel, as all children are, but chiefly because he is ignorant; he is not mean, but there are very definite bounds to his generosity; and his courage is the Indian sort, full of prudence and mindful of retreat as one of In the following essay, he demonstrates that Tom Sawyer was written partly as a response to the didactic children's fiction of Twain's day.

Since, as several critics have suggested, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer attacked earlier juvenile literature in something roughly like the way Joseph Andrews attacked Pamela, a note on the structure of the novel may well start though it should not, I think, terminate with a In the following essay, he analyzes Twain's synthesis of romantic and anti-romantic themes in Tom Sawyer.

One cannot seriously quarrel with DeLancey Ferguson when he says that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer violates every rule, past, present, and future of the "art novel," for in its context Mr. Ferguson's statement points out something which is important and true about that book. Taken out of its context, however, as I am afraid it has often been XXIV, July, , pp. The next day brings only grief for Tom. Aunt Polly learns from Sid that Tom snuck out the night before and cries over him.

At school, Becky snubs Tom by paying no heed to his boyish antics. Hurt and angry, Tom assembles a "gang" of pirates: The three boys decide that they have had enough of normal society and run away to Jackson Island, in the middle of the Mississippi River.

When the boys are missing, the whole town assumes that they have drowned in the river and villagers drag the river for their bodies.

In the darkness of the night, Tom sneaks off the island to return home and leave a note for Aunt Polly informing her that he is not dead. Instead, he overhears Polly and Mrs.

Harper making plans for their funerals. The boys then wait until the morning of their own funeral, sneak back into town and attend their own funerals before revealing to the congregation that they are alive! At school, the boys are the envy of each pupil; however, Tom has still not won back Becky's heart. When Tom inadvertently catches Becky reading the schoolmaster's book, she jump out of surprise and breaks it.

Later that day, when the schoolmaster questions Becky whether it was she who broke the book, Tom lies and says that it was he who committed the act. Although he takes the punishment for Becky, he wins back her love and attention.

After school is let out for the summer, Muff Potter's trial begins. The town of St. Petersburg has already convicted the innocent man in their minds. Tom and Huck are both racked by their guilty consciences, and are made to feel even worse when Muff Potter thanks them for being kind to him. When the trial begins, the defense council calls Tom Sawyer to the witness stand.

To the surprise of Huck, Muff Potter, and all those who are in the audience, Tom divulges all he knows about the murder, naming Injun Joe as Dr. Before the trial ends, Injun Joe sprints out of the courtroom before anybody can catch him. Injun Joe is declared missing and Muff Potter is set free with the apologies of the town. Meanwhile, Tom is afraid that Injun Joe will attempt to seek revenge on him for being a witness, and Huck holds similar fears. One day, Huck and Tom decide to dig for buried treasure at the old haunted house on Cardiff Hill.


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- THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer tells the story of Tom, an imaginative and mischievous young boy who never passes up a chance for an adventure in mid-nineteenth century St. Petersburg, Missouri.

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- The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer In the Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, the friendship between the two friends Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer is strong enough to get them through some life changing adventures. The story takes place in the mid 's, in a Missouri town called St. Petersburg.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical . Essay on Tom and Huck in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain Words | 8 Pages The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer In the Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, the friendship between the two friends Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer is strong enough to get them through some life changing adventures.

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Sep 05,  · Suggested Essay Topics. 1. Analyze the relationship between Tom and Huck Finn, paying close attention to their trip to the graveyard and their hunt for treasure. 2. Analyze Tom’s relationship to the other boys his age, paying close attention to the whitewashing scene and the scenes at school. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer This Essay The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and other 64,+ term papers, college essay examples and free essays are available now on Autor: review • March 11, • Essay • 1, Words (7 Pages) • 4/4(1).