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- Mark Twain and his classic novel, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
- Mark Twain was a nineteenth century lecturer and author, who used satire and humor to comment on the ongoing societal issues. Twain was born under the name “Samuel Langhorne Clemens” and he had longed for wealth ever since he was young. He was involved in many activities besides writing during his life. He was recognized as a lawyer, a judge, and a humorist as well.
- Mark Twain is most known for his novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is also another very notable novel from Twain. The books are considered classics, and they are read all over the world, especially in American schools. Twain mostly focused on “American humor”. American humor meaning he joked about Americans during that time period. Both of the novels can be considered a bildungsroman. A bildungsroman is a type of novel that emphasizes the coming of age, or growing up. The story focuses on a very mischievous and adventurous boy named Tom Sawyer. Tom Sawyer is from a town in Missouri called St. Petersburg. This is the main setting of the story. He is accompanied with another boy named Huckleberry Finn throughout the story. Huckleberry Finn can be seen as a supporting character.
- Mark Twain used satire and humor to comment on many societal issues. There were many ongoing issues in the United States during Mark Twain’s life. These issues included all sorts of topics, from crime and unlawful acts, to moral issues such as slavery. Humor helped him get his point across in his writings. Mark Twain also writes about hypocrisy during this time period, and he mocks society. Although his novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” focuses on the story of a boy, there are many adult themes throughout the story and Twain makes jokes about society that children will most likely not understand.
- Tom Sawyer is the protagonist and main character in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. The novel does also include a secondary character, Huckleberry Finn, who can also be considered a “supporting character” as his presence helps shapes Twain’s story. Twain goes into details about topics such as religion, morals, culture, and more. Another key concept that Twain focuses on in the novel is lying. Tom Sawyer is faced with many situations relating to this topic. These situations challenge him. One ongoing issue during this time was slavery. Slavery was extremely common in the South, and anybody who was opposed to slavery was frowned upon. With the help of Jim as a character, Mark Twain can explore this topic and help shape the message he wants to get across. Twain was a humanist and also an abolitionist. He did not support slavery at all. Jim is Aunt Polly’s slave, and he is very friendly with both Tom and Huck. They develop a close relationship in the story. Growing up during this time period can have a great effect on minors and their outlook on things in the future, and Mark Twain demonstrates this here. Twain’s main takeaway, or key point from this is that all humans can have mutual respect for each other, regardless of our differences.
- Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography - Justin Kaplan
- Mark Twain - William Lyon Phelps https://jstor.org/stable/25105927
- Social Play and Bad Faith in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer https://jstor.org/stable/3044819
- Literary Criticism - Tabitha McIntosh-Byrd
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Cynthia Griffin Wolff
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Diana Trilling
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