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Tom Sawyer

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Mark Twain uses The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to reveal

his own childhood; thus, many specifics in the book, such as

the characters and the setting are very dear to his heart. It is

the story about life in a boy's world, and it discloses the

feelings of Mark Twain concerning his boyhood, his town,

and the people there. The time period is about two decades

before the Civil War, and the setting is in St. Petersburg,

Missouri, a small village on the Mississippi River. The main

character in the book is Tom Sawyer, of course. Throughout

the book, the author compares himself to Tom and his

adventures. Tom is all boy, meaning that he is about as

rambunctious and mischievous as a little boy can be. He

despises anything that places restrictions on his boyhood

freedom including school, church, and chores. Not only does

he despise these restrictions, but he also will do anything to

get out of them. For example, he skips school, and he cons

friends into doing his chores for him. While he detests the

restraints of life, he loves the liberating parts of life. He longs

to take advantage of nature and all it has to offer. A quote

from the book that exemplifies Tom Sawyer's attitude

toward life is when the author reveals his philosophy, "that

work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that

play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do." The

other characters in the story revolve around Tom's

character. Tom lives with his Aunt Polly because of the

death of his mother. She tries to keep Tom in line, but she

struggles because she has such a soft spot in her heart for

Tom. When she does discipline Tom, she feels terrible, and

in a way, she punishes herself. Sidney is Tom's half brother

who seems to always be making Tom look bad. While Tom

is the so-called bad boy who is always getting into trouble,

Sidney is the good boy who always does what he is told.

However, Tom is presented in a compassionate way, but

Sidney is portrayed as a tattler and a deceiver. He is shown

to be deceitful when he allows Tom to take the blame and

punishment for the broken sugar bowl even though he is the

one who broke it. Tom does not let Sidney get the best of

him because no matter what Sidney says or does, Tom will

always get him back. Huckleberry Finn is Tom's partner in

crime. Together, they go on adventures that eventually lead

them into dangerous situations. Because of their experience

at being sly and escaping from trouble, they are able to

overcome the danger. They first find themselves in jeopardy

when they decide to go to the cemetery one night. They

become witness to a grave robbery being executed by three

men, Dr. Robinson, Injun Joe, and Muff Potter. A quarrel

takes place between the three men, and Muff Potter is

knocked unconscious. In addition, Injun Joe murders Dr.

Robinson. At first, Tom and Huck vow to keep the event a

secret. They write up a pact that says, "Huck Finn and Tom

Sawyer swears they will keep mum about this and they may

drop down dead in their tracks if they ever tell and rot."

Once Tom hears that Injun Joe has accused Muff Potter of

the murder, Tom realizes that he must testify against him.

During the trial, Injun Joe escapes, and the two boys begin

to fear for their lives. They find themselves in danger once

again, when they mistakenly discover the hideout of Injun

Joe and his accomplice. Tom and Huck overhear the

conversation of the two men and find out that they have a

second hideout as well. Tom and Huck begin a mission of

bringing these men to justice, and they become a crucial part

in the demise of the two men. At one point in the story,

Huck overhears Injun Joe's plan to take revenge on Widow

Douglas, and he saves her life. Becky Thatcher takes the

place of Amy Lawrence as the love of Tom's life. Becky has

moved to St. Petersburg with her parents, Judge and Mrs.

Thatcher. Tom begins to show off in front of Becky to win

her approval. At first, his efforts are not very successful, but

he wins her over when he accepts the punishment for

something she had done wrong. Becky becomes the heroine

of the story through her excursion with Tom. The two of

them become lost in McDougal's cave, and they are not

noticed to be missing until the next day. During their three



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