The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Book Report

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Book Report

Murder, superstition, religion, manipulation, racism: themes that hardly seem appropriate to find in a children’s book. Yet, these themes are all found in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written in 1876 by Mark Twain. The novel relates the story of Tom Sawyer, a mischievous, adventure-loving boy of twelve. In the preface Mark Twain wrote for his book in Hartford, 1876, he explains that “Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred, one or two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine.” Mark Twain became one of America’s most famous literary icons, probably because his books painted such a vivid picture of pre-Civil War life in the South. Twain intended his book “mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls,” but also in hope that “it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.” Mark Twain accurately portrayed the culture of pre-Civil War Missouri through the plot, characters, and themes of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, effectively accomplishing his purpose of entertaining young readers and reminding adults of their childhood.

   The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has many themes in it, ranging from very noticeable ones to more hidden ones. Probably the most notable theme in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the transformation in character a person goes through when growing up and how they are expected to begin to care more for others than their own self. Tom shows this theme when he changes from the mischief maker at the beginning of the book to the one that testifies at Injun Joe’s trial. Another major theme in the book is freedom, most notably the freedom a person gets when they do not hold a very high social standard. Huck Finn bears the flag when it comes to this...
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