April 14th, 2013
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- Hypocrisy in Adult Society
The young-adult novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is a story about a young boy who, by going on various adventures, begins the story being mischievous, and selfish, but transforms into a brave and somewhat mature young man. It can be hard to see an underlying message, in such an entertaining story, but when one reads between the lines, they can see that Tom Sawyer becoming a man is not entirely a good thing. Throughout the story the author, Mark Twain points out hypocrisy in various areas of adult society, and it makes one feel somewhat sympathetic for Tom Sawyer when he is forced to grow up. Tom Sawyer grows up in the small, predominately Christian town of Hannibal, Missouri. A person would expect a town full of Christians to accept a new member into the community with open arms; God would expect the same. Unfortunately, although the town appears very close-knit and friendly, they do not like outsiders. Considering the fact that the town is full of people who claim to be devout Christians, this is both ironic and hypocritical behavior. All the mothers in town hate Tom’s friend, Huckleberry Finn because they think he is a troublemaker, and a bad influence on their kids. "Huckleberry was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town because he was idle, and lawless, and vulgar, and bad - and because all their children admired him so, and delighted in his forbidden society, and wished they dared to be like him." (Twain, Chapter 6) Now, it’s more understandable that the town doesn’t accept Injun Joe, since he is the villain of the book, but as Christians, the citizens are supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt. Even Tom finds himself struggling to find acceptance in the town at times until he first runs away and comes back. Several of the citizens of Hannibal act as if they are better than everyone else; this...
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