Tom Sawyer: Literary Analysis Essay

What it’s like to be young....



“Who goes there?” “Tom Sawyer, the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main. Name your names.” “Huck Finn the Red-Handed, and Joe Harper the Terror of the Seas.” Tom had furnished these titles, from his favorite literature. “Tis well. Give the countersign.” Two hoarse whispers delivered the same awful word simultaneously to the brooding night: “Blood!”. Then Tom tumbled his ham over the bluff and let himself down after it, tearing both skin and clothes to some extent in the effort. There was an easy, comfortable path along the shore under the bluff, but it lacked the advantages of difficulty and danger so valued by a pirate.”

-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain 


    Character building is a key part of a young life. Being in adolescence is really when a persons traits start to form and take shape. Every person in the world has been young or is young and each of them has a story. A story of how they build their character to be how they are. In this story, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, shows the character building of a young boy who you would never expect to Change in the way he did.

     Childhood is a key part of identity building and maturity. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, Toms experiences  with others throughout the book change how he views his town and the world. The book starts out with Tom as a boy, a troublemaking, adventure having boy. But throughout the book, and throughout his experiences with friends, family, and foes, he begins his journey to manhood. When Tom and Huck Finn witness the murder in the graveyard they are still kids. They are still drunk on blissful adolescence, but seeing the killer, and knowing he’s free sobers them. It gets even worse when an innocent man is wrongfully convicted. When he decided to break his promise and stand up for Muff Potter in court he was definitely already leagues more mature than he was at the start of the book, because of his knowledge of the real killer and his willingness to possibly sacrifice his life to save another. 

 “Tom glanced at Injun Joe's iron face and his tongue failed him. The audience listened breathless, but the words refused to come. After a few moments, however, the boy got a little of his strength back, and managed to put enough of it into his voice to make part of the house hear: "In the graveyard!”

As the book goes on Tom is also becomes more honest, especially when he tells his Aunt the truth about how he went into the house and almost slipped the bark containing the truth about his time on the island into her coat, but kept it instead. He went from a generally unlivable character, who was an immature child, to a mature teenager. Through the rest of the novel Tom grows and learns from his mistakes and the mistakes of others. He comes to realize that he can’t be a better person without doing what he is told, and what is expected of him. He does his best to protect his friends and family, from saving Becky from the cave to revealing Injun Joe’s guilt, and he matures to become the best person he can.

     Without bravery we would still be in the Stone Age. Tom shows lots of bravery. Tom exerts many true actions of bravery. In the way he matures his courage throughout the book to be a more powerful person. Through his adventures with his friends he learns and faces conflict with them. He finds out his true self in a way that made him see who he really wanted to be as a boy. After getting lost in the cold, dark cave in the aftermath of the party, Tom and Becky’s courage is tested. They huddle by their candle as the flame burns lower their fear growing as the dark threatens to swallow them. When their last candle burns out, and they can’t see Tom knows that he can’t continue huddling in the dark so he sets out to save Becky and himself. When he first gathers the courage to start exploring for a way out he is surprised to find the thing that has plagued his nightmares throughout the book; Injun joe, the towns wanted murderer. Even with this knowledge, Tom gathers the courage to search for an exit, and eventually finds one.

    “He stepped forward to go to his punishment the surprise, the gratitude, the adoration that shone upon him out of poor Becky’s eyes seemed pay enough for a hundred floggings. Inspired by the splendor of his own act, he took without an outcry the most merciless flaying that even Mr. Dobbins had ever administered; and also received with indifference the added cruelty of a command to remain two hours after school should be dismissed—for he knew who would wait for him outside till his captivity was done, and not count the tedious time as loss, either.”[-page 242]

Tom shows bravery in the face of many tough choices throughout the book, including the page Becky rips, and the cave that he’s trapped in for days on end. It is this bravery, that becomes Tom’s greatest tool, without it, he would give up like Becky in the cave, or he would sit there as she was flogged. Instead, he finds his way out and that’s something very few people could do.    As family and companionship are important, bravery by standing up to your emotions is  what this book is about. You need to be brave to stand up to your authorities. You need to be brave to go home when you are having such a great time were you are. You need to be brave when you take a whipping for something you didn’t do for love. As my point is made, bravery is very important and a key part of the book, Tom Sawyer.

     This book covers major qualities in life as in Tom Sawyer. He is brave, honest, loved, and surprisingly overall he is a troublemaker. These quality’s to me are some of the most important stem quality’s to a person. They all branch off to make other qualities like joy and kindness and courageousness. This book made a way of inspiring its readers to be the best people they can be by making Tom be the best he can be. It shows how a boy who doesn’t want to grow to show his true traits. Actually does, and it changes him into a different person inside out. The book shows this boy growing what in my opinion, stem traits, which are bravery, Honesty, and empathy. They branch out to other traits like kindness, courage, and thoughtfulness.

     This book showed a tough troublesome boy transform and his pathway and experiences that caused it to happen.