Analysis of Major Characters
Tom Sawyer: Tom is a young, mischevious, adventurous boy. He has an active imagination, and gets into trouble a lot. He is a born leader, and very headstrong. Throughout the book he goes through many adventures that change him.
When the novel begins, Tom is a mischievous child who envies Huck Finn’s lazy lifestyle and freedom. As Tom’s adventures proceed, however, critical moments show Tom moving away from his childhood concerns and making mature, responsible decisions. These moments include Tom’s testimony at Muff Potter’s trial, his saving of Becky from punishment, and his heroic navigation out of the cave. By the end of the novel, Tom is coaxing Huck into staying at the Widow Douglas’s, urging his friend to accept tight collars, Sunday school, and good table manners. He is no longer a disobedient character undermining the adult order, but a defender of respectability and responsibility. In the end, growing up for Tom means embracing social custom and sacrificing the freedoms of childhood. Tom ends up as St. Petersburg’s hero. As the town gossips say, “[Tom] would be President, yet, if he escaped hanging.”
The treasure is a symbolic goal that marks the end of the boys’ journey. It symbolizes the boys’ heroism, marking them as exceptional in a world where conformity is the rule. It becomes a indicator of Tom’s transition into adulthood and Huck’s movement into civilized society. Friendship
Children's friendships are at the center of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Tom's family—Aunt Polly, Mary, and Sid—does not always appreciate him and does not figure into his rich imaginative life. However, Tom's friends—Joe Harper and Huck Finn in particular—look up to him precisely because he is so imaginative and adventurous. The boys see each other as they want to be seen, and together they create an exciting world of intrigue and adventure. The friendship between Tom and Huck especially is highlighted in the novel. Tom...
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