How much skill does it take for Tom to get someone to pay him so that they can do his chores? We know it sounds confusing, so just think about how the other kid felt when he realized that he just paid money to do someone else's chores. Is Tom Sawyer just a jerk, or is there a deeper side to him? Do his adventures confirm or change that?
|19th-Century Literature||19th-Century American Literature|
|American Literature||19th-Century American Literature|
All American Literature
|Author||Twain - Mark Twain|
Tom-ish things like lying, cutting school, and basically disregarding her rules.
What could be better comeuppance for fun-loving Tom Sawyer than to make him whitewash a fence
on a sunny weekend afternoon? And yeah, it’s a big fence.
Tom tries to weasel his way out of the job by getting Jim to do it, even offering him
a whole marble. When that doesn’t work, Tom devises a devious
plan. He gives an Oscar-worthy performance as he
pretends to thoroughly enjoy whitewashing the fence.
Tom fakes a true love for whitewashing - so convincingly that others beg to join.
He not only gets them to do the job for him… they pay him for it. He collects some serious
booty. So, what is it about this part of the story
that grabs us? Maybe it’s because we just love that All American Bad Boy.
The rebel who just doesn’t care about your rules.
They simply cannot be controlled. And we love them for it.
Or maybe it’s because Norman Rockwell made the whitewashing image famous by serving it
up to Americans everywhere. Rockwell was a guy who definitely got a lot
of attention. And his images basically embody everything
about America we want to embrace. So it’s a definite possibility that the
fence has Norman and his handiwork to thank for its fame.
Or… the scene could be memorable because it does such a perfect job expressing who
Tom really is: That mischievous boy who is great at getting
out of doing work. He is the ultimate scammer – a real pro.
He weedles – but we still love and root for him… even admire him.
He has that unique biochemical processing prowess – what scientists in Sweden call…
cajones. Maybe it’s why Tom has outlived his author
in the hearts and minds of the hordes who read him annually.
A skill, perhaps, we all kinda wish we had. Or maybe it’s less devious. Maybe it’s
our mirror moment. It’s the most relatable moment in the book.
Surely all of us have finagled our way out of doing something we didn’t want to do.
a visit to a boring relative’s house for bad food and horrible conversation.
Yeah, it’s probably more relatable than the whole witnessing a murder thing.
What do you think? Shmoop amongst yourselves.