Tom Sawyer Essay

458 Words2 Pages
Published in England three months before being sold in the United States, Tom Sawyer is Twain's most selling book. The novel describes the childhood adventures of the young character, who embodies the ideal of American youth during the frontier era (around 1850’s?). People agree that the story is not as good as the novel's sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; but there is no doubt that Tom Sawyer is considered among one of the greatest books in history. This sense of innocence and youthfulness that is in the work is in extreme contrast with the negative attitude for which Twain was known. Made popular by his sayings as much as his works of literature, the author often wrote about the weak nature of man, talking about mans inherent selfishness and his obsession with monetary value. As an idealist who saw his ideals betrayed by a morally corrupt society, Twain uses Tom as a symbol of the difference between the world of adults and children. Although based on Twin's own personal experiences as a child, critics have suggested several other sources for the novel, including Southwestern humorist, George W. Harris. However, the novel is clearly indicative of the folklore surrounding life on the Mississippi River. Tom's adventures are closely tied with ghost lore, haunted houses, witchcraft, and animal lore; this theme of the superstition and folklore is a common thread in many of Twain's works and exhibits his firsthand knowledge of the popular beliefs of inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley. Similarly, the essence of small-town life is captured perfect in Twain's writing with his use of colloquial syntax and diction. Critics often comment on the accuracy at which Twain was able to record various modes of speech, revealing a patient his keen ear for dialects. Many attribute Twain's use of the vernacular to his background as a frontier writer and humorist, where

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