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Tom Sawyer Motif Analysis

By arjun234 May 06, 2013 453 Words
Tom Sawyer Open-Ended Questions
3. "Revenge? What if he means us, Huck!" says Tom on Page 172. Twain crafts a novel that is both appealing to children and creates a satire of society.
One of the concepts that Twain jeers at is the naivety of children. Why is Tom fearing that Injun Joe will hunt him down and kill him? This is all because he is a naive ten - year old and he does not know the psychology of the motives of adults. For example, when Mr. Dobbins whips the children before Examination Day, he thinks that it is because he wants a positive reputation from the town and the students' parents.

Tom's theory about Injun Joe reflects his youth and childishness. He thinks that just because he testified against Injun Joe, Injun Joe is out for blood. I disagree with his theory, Injun Joe is a notorious criminal while Tom is a harmless schoolboy. Injun views Tom as no more than a minor annoyance. It is like when an ant confronts a spider, the spider could easily eat the ant, but it would rather bear the ant's presence and find a larger and heartier meal.

Even today, we as children make vague assumptions. When we hear about a celebrity in the news, we always assume that since they are rich, they have pleasurable lives. Michael Jackson, for example, he was a world-wide sensation and had millions of dollars. However, the constant stress of concerts bore down on him and caused him to rely on prescription drugs. This is exactly what Tom is doing, he is making a vague assumption about Injun Joe without actually knowing his personal lifestyle or motives. 6. A strong message conveyed in Tom Sawyer is the injustice of slavery and that slaves are people too. On Page 179, Huck says "A body's got to do things when he's awful hungry he wouldn't want to do a steady thing." Although Huck realizes that there is personality in slaves, he does not want Tom telling that he ate with one because the society he was raised in taught him that interacting with slaves was wrong. This line reflects the personal limbo that Twain himself was in, he realized that slaves were people, but he was unsure if he should interact with them because he was taught that it was morally wrong. On Page 179, Huck says, "That's a mighty good feller, Tom. He likes me becuz I never act as if I were above him. Sometimes, I sat right down and eat with him." Twain included these lines because he wanted people of his time and the future to realize and appreciate the warmth of African Americans.

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