Tom Sawyer Literary Analysis

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Tom Sawyer Literary Analysis

Sometimes a child can be wronged only once by a decent person, but if that child does not know that the person is good, their entire reality of this person would most likely be seen as a terrible person. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the characters are exaggerated versions of a restricted and childish view of realistic characters. Characters like Aunt Polly and Widow Douglas are good examples of this, as their personalities seem very plain and unchanging.
Aunt Polly is often displayed as, to Tom’s advantage, a gullible character. We see this very early on when she is confronting Tom for taking the jam, where the book says “‘My! Look behind you aunt!’ The old lady whirled round and snatched her skirts out of
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When Tom returns home after having fought in the dirt with another boy, Aunt Polly catches him and the book says “...when she saw the state of his clothes were in her resolution his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor.” (8) The fact that the book refers to the punishment for skipping school and dirty clothes as “captivity at hard labor” emphasizes the idea that Aunt Polly is mean and cruel. Later in the book Aunt Polly figures out that Tom had lied about his “prophesizing dream” and her first reaction when seeing him is saying “Tom I’ve a notion to skin you alive!” (120) Though it is not literal, it is very threatening to say such a thing, suggesting that Aunt Polly is mean. Lastly, at the very end of the book, after the town figures out about Tom and Huck’s money, the book says “...the widow put Huck’s money out at six percent, and Judge Thatcher did the same with Tom’s at Aunt Polly’s request.” (208) Though is it unnecessary for someone so young in this time to have so much money, the fact that Aunt Polly allows so little to remain in Tom’s possession is rather cruel, considering the fact that Tom had risked his life for the…show more content…
It starts soon after Becky is truly introduced as a character and just after Tom and Becky get “engaged,” in which Becky finds that Tom had done the same thing before with another girl. “‘Oh tom! Then I ain’t the first you’ve been engaged to!’ The child began to cry.” (15) In this situation Becky is overreacting to a childish and meaningless thing. Later on in the book Becky tears the teacher’s anatomy book. The teacher then finds out and goes around asking people about who did it. This section reads “‘Rebecca Thatcher!’ [Tom glanced at her face- it was white with terror]” (126) After this, Tom then proceeds to take the blame and punishment in order to save Becky. This displays Becky as a helpless “damsel in distress.” Lastly, when Tom and Becky are lost in the cave Becky is extremely helpless numerous times; “‘Tom, I am so hungry!’...Becky gave loose to tears and wailings” (188/189) Throughout this scene, Tom is calm and Becky is complaining and crying about everything, showing her as extremely
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