The Friendship of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

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The Friendship of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn Thesis: Through escapades, the South, characters, and two novels, Mark Twain Develops the famous friendship of Tom Sawyer and HuckleberryFinn.

The Friendship of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
Born in 1834 as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain set out on his own when he was eighteen years old. He traveled America, working as a riverboat captain, gold rush explorer, and finally as a writer. As a newspaper reporter in Nevada he wrote articles poking fun at politicians. To keep his identity secret he signed his articles "Mark Twain." The name is a term he learned as a steamboat captain. The term means that the water is deep enough for a steamboat to sail safely (Rinaldo 7). June 6, 1876, Mark Twain's novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published in England. It would not appear in America for another six months (American Heritage 96). Mark Twain once said of Tom Sawyer, that it was not a boys' book at all, but would be read only by adults. He had given the book his full powers of serious communication and did not want it to be thought of as a mere children's book. Ever since its publication in 1876 until quite recently, the readers have mainly been children. He wrote the novel while he and his family were living in Hartford, Connecticut, and while Twain was enjoying the fame he had achieved (Trilling 17 � 29). Mark Twain gives us a clear-eyed look at childhood in the 1800'S through the eyes of two very different American boys. Their differences reflect very different views of society during that era. Tom represents the innocent and playful side of life and Huck represents a darker and more serious side of life due to his social background. The way Mark Twain presents and develops these characters and their views of the world helps shape the meaning of the novel (LeMaster 110 � 129). The friendship of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn is one of the most celebrated friendships in literature. The friendship was built on imaginative adventures, shared superstitions, and loyalty that rose above the expectations of society (Rinaldo 8). Tom admires Huck for his freedom from adults and he knows that his association with Huck makes him appear daring. This is a reputation he relishes. Tom also cares about Huck, concerned that he is alone in the world. Huck's aloneness helps him make the decision to run away to Jackson Island with Tom. His needs are much different from Tom's. Huck is not rebelling against being forced to attend school or to dress conventionally. Huck is rebelling against being physically abused by his father. He has been forced into the adult world by a need to take responsibility for his own life, while to Tom it is just one more romantic adventure. Huck has a pursuit of freedom that Tom does not share because he is already free in a way that Huck is not free. Pursue it, as he will; freedom remains an elusive promise for Huck. It is Huck's understanding that, unlike Tom, he can never fit into society and be completely free (Pinscher 642). Tom and Huck are the same age. Huck has always been held back in society by his birth and upbringing. Tom has been raised in comfort. Tom's beliefs are a combination of what he has learned from the adults around him and the adventurous novels he has read. The boys share an admiration for the circus life. They want to be clowns when they are grown. The purpose of these references is to emphasize the innocence with which they approach the world. They do not evaluate the real merits and shortcomings of all the jobs they dream of together. They are attracted by the opportunity to imagine themselves in roles they find romantic and exciting. (Pinscher 643). Tom believes in sticking strictly to rules, most of which have more to do with style than morality or the well being of others. Tom and Huck are a perfect combination. His rigid rule following contrasts with Huck's willingness to...
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