Mark Twain uses The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to revealhis own childhood; thus, many specifics in the book, such asthe characters and the setting are very dear to his heart. It isthe story about life in a boy’s world, and it discloses thefeelings of Mark Twain concerning his boyhood, his town,and the people there. The time period is about two decadesbefore the Civil War, and the setting is in St. Petersburg,Missouri, a small village on the Mississippi River.
The maincharacter in the book is Tom Sawyer, of course. Throughoutthe book, the author compares himself to Tom and hisadventures. Tom is all boy, meaning that he is about asrambunctious and mischievous as a little boy can be. Hedespises anything that places restrictions on his boyhoodfreedom including school, church, and chores.
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Not only doeshe despise these restrictions, but he also will do anything toget out of them. For example, he skips school, and he consfriends into doing his chores for him. While he detests therestraints of life, he loves the liberating parts of life. He longsto take advantage of nature and all it has to offer.
A quotefrom the book that exemplifies Tom Sawyer’s attitudetoward life is when the author reveals his philosophy, “thatwork consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and thatplay consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” Theother characters in the story revolve around Tom’scharacter. Tom lives with his Aunt Polly because of thedeath of his mother. She tries to keep Tom in line, but shestruggles because she has such a soft spot in her heart forTom. When she does discipline Tom, she feels terrible, andin a way, she punishes herself. Sidney is Tom’s half brotherwho seems to always be making Tom look bad.
While Tomis 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, butSidney is portrayed as a tattler and a deceiver. He is shownto be deceitful when he allows Tom to take the blame andpunishment for the broken sugar bowl even though he is theone who broke it. Tom does not let Sidney get the best ofhim because no matter what Sidney says or does, Tom willalways get him back. Huckleberry Finn is Tom’s partner incrime.
Together, they go on adventures that eventually leadthem into dangerous situations. Because of their experienceat being sly and escaping from trouble, they are able toovercome the danger. They first find themselves in jeopardywhen they decide to go to the cemetery one night. Theybecome witness to a grave robbery being executed by threemen, Dr. Robinson, Injun Joe, and Muff Potter.
A quarreltakes place between the three men, and Muff Potter isknocked unconscious. In addition, Injun Joe murders Dr.Robinson. At first, Tom and Huck vow to keep the event asecret.
They write up a pact that says, “Huck Finn and TomSawyer swears they will keep mum about this and they maydrop down dead in their tracks if they ever tell and rot.”Once.