Tom Sawyer Essay, "A Book For Everone"

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Mark Twain (1835-1910), the first American author to have written a novel to international literature, grew up in the Mississippi River Town of Hannibal, Missouri. The landmarks and people of this place later served as models for settings and characters of many of his novels, particularly "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"�. At the first glance, "Tom Sawyer seems to be a children's book, yet it brings the reader, even the adult, very close to meanings deep beyond the sounding of children.

As a 12 year old boy, Tom, is sometimes resorted for his misbehaviour. Yet his personality and performance are interesting and involving to children. A rascal from the start, by the middle of the book Tom creates a scenario which brings the whole village to a tragedy, but then takes them back into relief and laughter. Though the earlier chapters represent Tom's disobedience, it would be wrong to call him a "Bad Boy"�.

The story of Tom and Becky, Jackson's Island adventure, the one of Injun Joe which eventually leads to the discover of the treasure are all established by boyish actions. A boy with a good heart. It is clear that, in book, has the boy, been better realized than in "Tom Sawyer"�.

The excellence of the picture of the society in a small river town a hundred years ago presented in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"� adds another dimension to its exciting atmosphere. But the point of view taken by the narrator and the reader is that of any adult observing a boy. Tom is shown to have an urge for love, hatred, creativity and destruction. He also shows an increasing desire to control his life and to make rules for others. These qualities are presented as Tom passes through his childhood, towards maturity. Tom's changes in his journey towards maturity can be remembered by many adults who read this novel; his adventures can relate to their childhood dreams and bring back the joy they had when they were younger. In addition, to dismiss this book as not being a great adult literature is easy but few readers, of any age, can look at the book in this way once they start to read it.

As mentioned before, Mark Twain himself grew up by the famous river of Mississippi. Tom also grows up in similar town. As a maker of mischief, Tom uses all this time and energy against the rigidness of the society. Later on, he becomes more famous than ever by saving Judge Thatcher's daughter. Tom sees the real world around him at all times, but he never gets to involved with it, he allows it to take place beside his own life. Such a well balanced novel was guaranteed to stay alive for generations after its author, for it presents a great history of life by the Mississippi River.

The action of the last part of the book brings back a world of pirates and Indians which Tom earlier established on Jackson's Island. A world made up of only boys and men. This assures the fact that Tom will forever remain a boy inside. In conclusion, The adventures of Tom Sawyer is not just any novel. It is a novel which includes many different amusing and humorous stories.

These stories are eventually brought together at the end of the novel to create a masterpiece of literature for people of all ages.