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Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer

Tom is the same age as Huck and his best friend. Whereas Huck’s birth and upbringing have left him in poverty and on the margins of society, Tom has been raised in relative comfort. As a result, his beliefs are an unfortunate combination of what he has learned from the adults around him and the fanciful notions he has gleaned from reading romance and adventure novels. Tom believes in sticking strictly to “rules,” most of which have more to do with style than with morality or anyone’s welfare. Tom is thus the perfect foil for Huck: his rigid adherence to rules and precepts contrasts with Huck’s tendency to question authority and think for himself.

Although Tom’s escapades are often funny, they also show just how disturbingly and unthinkingly cruel society can be. Tom knows all along that Miss Watson has died and that Jim is now a free man, yet he is willing to allow Jim to remain a captive while he entertains himself with fantastic escape plans. Tom’s plotting tortures not only Jim, but Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas as well. In the end, although he is just a boy like Huck and is appealing in his zest for adventure and his unconscious wittiness, Tom embodies what a young, well-to-do white man is raised to become in the society of his time: self-centered with dominion over all.

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TOM SAWYER QUIZ

Why does Huck struggle with his decision to help Jim?
He fears punishment from the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson.
He is shy and timid by nature and is afraid to make trouble.
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Discussion question - Please help.

by jessiicerr, December 29, 2012

This book was really confusing, tbh. I have to write an essay about how each character was cruel to each and why? and the moral?

Would mean a lot of someone could help me with a brief synopsis.

Thanks!

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46 out of 121 people found this helpful

Climax

by maddysherlock, January 30, 2013

the climax in this story is when Huck rips the letter to Miss Watson up

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26 out of 84 people found this helpful

Description of Huckleberry Finn

by cadetrammirez0, February 07, 2013

Where in the novel does it describe Huck and say his age?

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66 out of 108 people found this helpful

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

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