“Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is a novel that can be considered autobiography as it is based on the experiences of Mark Twain. The book wasn’t written at once. The first part was written in the winter of 1872, the second part in the spring of 1875 and the final part in the summer of the same year.
Due to the simple style of writing, with a lot of storytelling and humor, the novel is interesting to children and adults. The author wanted to remind adult readers of their childhood.
The narration in the novel runs linearly without parallel actions. The novel stands out because of the many events, so it can be called adventure novel, although the action revolves only around one, the main character – Tom Sawyer.
All events that have occurred in the novel revolve around one character and wouldn’t have been possible without Tom Sawyer. He stands out for its intelligent, wild and humorous nature. Tom is a person who can overcome any problem, and nothing is impossible for him. He looks at the difficulties as a challenge and immediately comes to grips with them and trying to solve them. He is powered by a great optimism despite everything bad that has happened to him.
The characters in the book are not described in detail. The author is primarily focused on events that are lined up from the start. The reader is found in the middle of the action at the very start of the novel. The characters are described through series of events – every event, every adventure, every conversation brings us a new trait, virtue or character flaw.
Genre: adventurous novel
Time: the middle of the 19th century
Place: St. Petersburg
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” are placed in the middle of 19th century in a small town called St. Petersburg. The main character is a boy named Tom Sawyer who lives with his aunt Polly and younger brother Sid.
He is a playful boy who does a lot of pranks and we can tell that at the beginning of the novel. The writer describes how Tom hid in the pantry and ate jam even though his aunt had forbidden him to do that. Tom is artful and he gets out of that situation by escaping to go swimming instead of going to school.
His aunt grounded him the next day and he had to paint the whole fence. But Tom cannot be stopped when he wants to get out of something. He convinced his friend that painting the fence is very fun so they all did it for him and paid him to do his job. When everything was done his aunt was so amazed that she let Tom play and gave him an apple.
Tom spends his time playing with his friend Joe Harper and in that moment, he saw a beautiful girl named Becky Thatcher. Tom fell in love with her at first sight.
On Sunday, Tom had to go to church dressed in a nice suit and shoes. He did not like that look because he believed that it was holding him down. At the entrance to the church, people would get cards depending on their knowledge of Bible. Tom exchanged his earned money and got a copy of the bible.
On Monday, he was supposed to go to school but didn’t feel like it so decided to fake that he was ill. The aunt recognized his act and told him to go to school. On the way, he came across a son of a drunkard who spent his days doing nothing because he didn’t have to go to school. His name was Huckleberry Finn. The two of them agree to meet at the cemetery that night.
Tom was late for school because he was talking to Huck. The teacher decides to punish him and make him sit with a girl. Tom was happy about that because the girl was Becky. He confessed his filings towards her and asked her to marry him. Becky said yes but when she found out that he was engaged to another girl she cried and called off the engagement.
At night, Tom meets Huck and they go to the cemetery. They never thought that they would see a real murder there. There was a fight between Muff Potter who was drunk and a criminal Red Joe and doctor Robinson. Red Joe stabbed the doctor and the boys ran away promising each other that they will never tell anyone about this.
The information about the murder spread fast. The knife that was the murder weapon belonged to Potter and he was the main suspect. The real murderer Red Joe didn’t even help him. He testified against him to secure himself. Toms conscious starts working and he suffers from nightmares because of the whole event.
Tom has a lot of problems, he fights with his aunt, he’s sad about Becky turning him down and he decides to run away from home. On his way, he sees his friend Joe Harper who decided to do the same thing and the two of them go on an adventure. Huck joins them and the three of them stole a raft and went sailing. They went downriver from St. Petersburg to Jacksons Island.
Even though life on the island seemed ideal and they didn’t want to go back the friends got nostalgic. Tom convinced them to stay on the island. In the meantime, they found out that the habitants are looking for them. Tom felt sorry for aunt Polly so he decided to sneak out and leave her a message that he is alive while his friends are sleeping. During the visit, he sees his aunt in the company of Joes mother Mary, a cousin, and Sid. They were planning a funeral and that made Tom change his mind.
When he got back to his friends he told him a new plan. They spend their days playing and Huck even learned how to smoke. After that, they got weak and sick. There was a storm on the island and everybody had to look for a shelter.
When Tom heard that the funeral will be held his plan was to show there and surprise everyone. They did it and cheered up everyone.
When they went back to school Joe and Tom were heroes. They told everyone about their adventures and the even smoked in front of them. The only problem is that Tom couldn’t reconcile with Becky. He manages to do it when he does a good deed and takes the blame for a ripped page of the book. It was Becky that ripped it out.
Soon school came to its end and there was a test of knowledge. Tom didn’t do well on that test because he didn’t like to study. Vacations started and Becky left town. Tom realized then that he’ll be bored and on top of everything he got sick.
The trial against Potter began and Tom was feeling guilty again. He decided to show up in the courtroom and say the truth that Red Joe was the murderer but he ran away.
Tom and Huck decided to go on a search for treasure in an old house. They found Red Joe and his companion running with the found treasure. The chest was filled with gold and the boys decided to follow him to get to the gold.
A little after Becky is back in town. A trip is organized for all of the children to see the McDougals cave. Tom and Becky got lost there and everyone went to search for them.
Huck was still keeping track of the criminal Joe he found out that soon he will attack the Douglas widow and then he decided to go to her and tell her everything. The widow was saved bud Joe ran away again. His companion drowned in the river.
At the same time, Becky and Tom were already at the end of their strength in the cave. Tom decided to go looking for a way out because Becky was too weak and he came across Joe. Joe ran away again and Tom found a way out.
Even though the locals already said goodbye to Tom and Becky they came back healthy and alive.
The judge Thatcher ordered that the cave gets closed because he wanted to prevent things like this. That wasn’t good news for Joe who was trapped in the cave and at the end, he starved to death.
Tom and Huck sneaked into the cave and found the gold. It was hidden there. The two of them were rich but that didn’t mean a thing to them. Huck had a new life and he was living with the widow Douglas. For them, the ideal life was an adventure and they couldn’t wait for the next one.
Characters: Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, aunt Polly, Becky Thatcher, Joe Harper, Sid, Mary, Red Joe, Muff Potter, doctor Robinson, widow Douglas
Tom Sawyer – the main character of the novel. Naughty and often a wild boy. He is always ready for new adventures, aided by his imagination. For these reasons he always gets in trouble. But nothing can shake him because of his extremely optimistic nature. Despite acting foolishly, he is intelligent, noble and a good boy. He shows that his actions can be responsible and mature.
Huckleberry Finn – the son of the local drunk and because of that not very popular. He doesn’t go to school and dresses in rags. Kids love him because they like his free lifestyle. He is always ready for new adventures with Tom.
Aunt Polly – kindhearted Tom’s aunt that takes care of him. She is simple and kind, but the need to teach Tom good manners is sometimes stronger than her love for him.
Red Joe – a criminal and a murderer. He is filled with a great hatred and very dangerous for Tom and Huck.
Mark Twain Biography
Mark Twain (1835. – 1910.) with the real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens was an American writer and humorist who became popular and appreciated in every generation.
He wasn’t a good student, so he dropped out of school at the age of 12. He worked on many different jobs. Mark started as a printer and even worked as a helmsman on the river Mississippi. After that, he was a gold digger, a journalist, a publisher and at the end he was a writer.
He couldn’t stay long in one place, so he moved around a lot. That’s how he started his journalist career.
After he had participated as a volunteer in the Civil war, he began working as a reporter, and it was then when he started to publish as Mark Twain.
It is believed that some of his best works came to life in 1980’s. Some of his best books are “The Prince and the Pauper”, “Life on Mississippi”, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and its sequel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”…
He kept a cheerful spirit and is well known for his humoristic novels. He promotes freedom and right to equality. He had shown the American lifestyle very well even though he had no basic education.