© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


by Mark Twain

Mr. Dobbins

Character Analysis

Mr. Dobbins is every kid's worst nightmare. Frustrated in his attempts to become a doctor, Dobbins settles for being a schoolteacher, a job he doesn't much like. He seems to prefer disciplining his students – that is, mercilessly beating them – to actually teaching them, and he spends as much time as possible perusing an anatomy textbook during class; if this sounds a bit perverted, well, that's because it is. He's definitely not a positive influence on anyone. Luckily, the kids get the last laugh when they – and please, don't worry about specifics – manage to steal his wig by dropping a cat down from the schoolhouse ceiling.