The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Major conflict · Tom and Huck perceive their biggest struggle to be between themselves and Injun Joe, whose gold they want and whom they believe is out to kill them. Conflict also exists between Tom and his imaginative world and the expectations and rules of adult society. Rising action · Tom and Huck’s witness of Dr. Robinson’s murder; the search for the boys’ bodies in the river when they escape to Jackson’s Island; Tom’s testimony at Muff Potter’s trial; Tom and Huck’s accidental sighting of Injun Joe at the haunted house; Tom and Becky’s entrapment in the cave Climax · Huck overhears Injun Joe’s plan to kill the Widow Douglas, and Tom encounters Injun Joe when he and Becky are stranded in the cave. Falling action · Huck gets help from the Welshman and drives Injun Joe away from the Widow Douglas; Tom avoids conflict with Injun Joe and navigates himself and Becky out of the cave; Judge Thatcher seals off the cave, causing Injun Joe to starve to death; Tom and Huck find Injun Joe’s treasure; Huck is adopted and civilized by the Widow Douglas. Historical Background
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and grew up in nearby Hannibal, a small Mississippi River town. Hannibal would become the model for St. Petersburg, the fictionalized setting of Twain’s two most popular novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The young Clemens grew up in a prosperous family—his father owned a grocery store as well as a number of slaves—but he was sent out to work at the age of twelve after his father’s death. As a young man, he traveled frequently, working as a printer’s typesetter and as a steamboat pilot. In this latter profession he gained familiarity with the river life that would furnish much material for his writing. He also gained his pen name, Mark Twain, which is a measure of depth in...