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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Analysis

Literary Devices in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

We know what you're thinking. "Aww, come on, Shmoop, you really expect me to believe that there's some kind of deeper meaning in all that imaginary kid's stuff Tom and his friends do? Everybody pla...

Setting

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is set in the town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, some time around the middle of the nineteenth century. St. Petersburg is small, but it's got everything a boy could want...

Narrator Point of View

Twain's versatility and verbal skill as a narrator are on display throughout Tom Sawyer. Take a look at this passage from the end of the whitewashing scene in Chapter 2:He had had a nice, good, idl...

Genre

The adventure label is pretty self-explanatory. It's right there in the title. Tom and his pals run away from home, hunt down a murderer, search for treasure, and find it. And though some bad thing...

Tone

Although The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is by no means an autobiography, Twain is most definitely writing from life experience. He sounds like…well, a fifty year-old man looking back at his chi...

Writing Style

Twain certainly has a flexible style; he can suit his words quite easily to the situation, whether he is describing the thoughts of Tom or expounding upon some lofty subject. That said, one of the...

What's Up With the Title?

First things first: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is going to focus primarily on Tom Sawyer. The young (we're talking elementary school age) native of St. Petersburg, Missouri has a liking for escap...

What's Up With the Ending?

At the end of the book, Injun Joe is out of the picture. Tom and Huck are hometown heroes. Huck has saved the Widow Douglas's life, and Tom has managed to escape from the caves with Becky. The boys...

Tough-o-Meter

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a quick, fun read, full of adventure and hi-jinks. The book isn't without its dark moments, and the plot moves along a bit slowly at points, it's true. But it is, ul...

Plot Analysis

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer doesn't have a standard narrative structure. There are a number of different plots – you might call them "adventures" – some of them intersecting with and o...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

First things first: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer does not, taken together, fit neatly into one of Booker's Seven Basic Plots. Just take a look at the Classic Plot Analysis section to understand why...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Tom falls in love with the new girl Becky Thatcher, but things get complicated when he and his friend Huck witness Injun Joe kill a man and then frame Muff Potter.Tom, Joe Harper, and Huck run off...

Trivia

Many of the characters and locations in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer were based on real people and places from Twain's hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. There was even a real Injun Joe, although he w...

Steaminess Rating

Strictly kid's stuff here. For Tom, courtship consists of jumping around, showing off, and beating up other, lesser boys. He and Becky Thatcher "get married" and "kiss," but it's all in the playgro...

Allusions

John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress (2.1) ["Delectable Land" recalls the "Delectable Mountains in Bunyan's book.]The Bible (1.23), specifically the Book of Revelation (5.9)Robin Hood tales (8.15-35; 26...

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