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Quotes

Quote #4

He no longer took an interest in war, nor even in piracy. The charm of life was gone; there was nothing but dreariness left. He put his hoop away, and his bat; there was no joy in them any more. (12.1)

Even Tom's imagination is not unquenchable, however, and – as can and does happen all too often – life's sadness dampens his creativity.

Quote #5

As the two boys walked sorrowing along, they made a new compact to stand by each other and be brothers and never separate till death relieved them of their troubles. Then they began to lay their plans. Joe was for being a hermit, and living on crusts in a remote cave, and dying, some time, of cold and want and grief; but after listening to Tom, he conceded that there were some conspicuous advantages about a life of crime, and so he consented to be a pirate. (13.5)

Joe's desire to become a child-hermit, like Tom's earlier one to die "temporarily," feels oddly profound and adult.

Quote #6

"Boys, I know who's drownded -- it's us!"

They felt like heroes in an instant. Here was a gorgeous triumph; they were missed; they were mourned; hearts were breaking on their account; tears were being shed; accusing memories of unkindness to these poor lost lads were rising up, and unavailing regrets and remorse were being indulged; and best of all, the departed were the talk of the whole town, and the envy of all the boys, as far as this dazzling notoriety was concerned. (14.25-26)

Here, we see Tom's desire to die temporarily actually come true – or, well, begin to come true. When he finally returns to town the cycle is complete.

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