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The Adventure of Tom Sawyer - a Book Review

Essay by   •  February 9, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,214 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,060 Views

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"The Adventure Of Tom Sawyer"

The book begins in St. Petersburg, Missouri, a small village on the banks of the Mississippi River in the mid-1800s. Tom, a mischievous boy, is hiding from his Aunt Polly while stealing jam from the pantry. When caught, he runs away and goes swimming instead of going to school.

The next day, Aunt Polly punishes him for playing hokey by making him whitewash their entire fence. Tom instead convinces the other boys in town that whitewashing is fun and gets them to do all the work for him. Aunt Polly lets him go and he goes to play with his friend Joe. The two boys have wild imaginations and a taste for getting into trouble. On his way home from playing, Tom sees a beautiful girl and falls in love with her.

That Sunday, the whole family must go to church. At Sunday school, Tom trades other boys for tickets that will earn him a free Bible. To actually earn the Bible, children must collect tickets by learning two thousand Bible verses. Tom's new love, Becky Thatcher, arrives at Sunday school with her father, a judge. Tom proudly claims his Bible in front of everyone, but cannot name the first two disciples when questioned by Judge Thatcher. At church, he entertains himself by playing with a pinch bug, which bites a dog and causes a huge disruption.

On his way to school on Monday, Tom runs into Huckleberry Finn, the son of the town drunk. Huck is homeless, can't read and lives a wild life. Tom is late for school, and for punishment is forced to sit next to Becky, which he is happy about. At lunch, Tom and Becky meet and Tom convinces her that they should get engaged and kiss. She does kiss him, but Tom lets it slip that he was already engaged to someone else, and she rejects him. Tom skips the rest of school and meets Joe in the woods to play Robin Hood.

At midnight, Tom and Huck sneak into the graveyard. Once there, they hear people coming and hide. Dr. Robinson arrives with Injun Joe, an evil criminal, and Muff Potter. They are stealing bodies from the grave. The men argue. Muff Potter is knocked out, and Injun Joe murders Dr. Robinson. Tom and Huck run away, fearing for their lives. When Muff Potter awakes, Injun Joe tells him that he, not Injun Joe, murdered the Doctor.

Tom and Huck, scared, swear never to tell anyone what they saw. However, Tom is bothered by the event and begins to have nightmares. Becky gets sick and he becomes very depressed. When Becky returns to school, she rejects him again and Tom decides to run away.

He convinces Joe and Huck that they should become pirates, and they steal a skiff and sail to Jackson's Island, down-river from St. Petersburg. There they play and talk about what they will do as pirates. They see people from the village searching the river for them, and realize that they townsfolk believe that they have drowned. They begin to get homesick, but Tom convinces them that they should stay on the island. That night, however, he sneaks back to St. Petersburg.

Tom intends on leaving Aunt Polly a note saying that they are alive and well. When he sneaks into his house, he hides and listens to Aunt Polly, Joe's mother, his brother Sid, and his cousin Mary crying and talking about funeral plans for the boys. Tom waits until Aunt Polly is asleep and sneaks back out, without leaving the note.

After Tom returns to the island, he tells Huck and Joe of a great plan he has devised.

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