The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Visions of America Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
The middle-aged man turned out to be a prodigious personage -- no less a one than the county judge -- altogether the most august creation these children had ever looked upon -- and they wondered what kind of material he was made of -- and they half wanted to hear him roar, and were half afraid he might, too. He was from Constantinople, twelve miles away -- so he had travelled, and seen the world -- these very eyes had looked upon the county court-house -- which was said to have a tin roof. (4.39)
Though Tom and the children are so used to their small town life that twelve miles might as well be 12,000 miles.
After the hymn had been sung, the Rev. Mr. Sprague turned himself into a bulletin-board, and read off "notices" of meetings and societies and things till it seemed that the list would stretch out to the crack of doom -- a queer custom which is still kept up in America, even in cities, away here in this age of abundant newspapers. (5.6)
Twain takes pleasure in pointing out some of the more peculiar institutions that have become part of American life. This particular practice, Twain would be pleased to know, continues to this day.
"Yes, that's it, Huck -- that's it; though when you're burying it if you say 'Down bean; off wart; come no more to bother me!' it's better. That's the way Joe Harper does, and he's been nearly to Coonville and most everywheres. But say -- how do you cure 'em with dead cats?" (6.80)
Once again, Tom shows that, as far as he's concerned, going anywhere outside of St. Petersburg is the equivalent of going pretty much everywhere. His knowledge of the world is confined to his hometown.