“Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it -- namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”
Mark Twain has always been a sort of household name for me, ever since I was younger I always knew who he was and what characters he had created in regards to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, yet despite it always seeming as though I was acquainted with these stories, in reality I never was until now.
As the title states, The adventures of Tom Sawyer is about the adventures Tom Sawyer gets up to in the small town of St. Petersburg in America’s South. Tom is prone to getting into trouble, becoming lost or causing huge amounts of distress to his Auntie who cares for him as she believes the boy has been killed at least a couple of times in the novel due to his erratic behavior. Damn Kids!
Since the story was written in 1876 it is still filled with all the social prejudices of the time towards negroes, Indians, women and the poor and although there was that mindset at the time, it still angers me when I am reminded that this prejudice has been going on at least since 1876 to now, that’s 138 years and we are still a racist and prejudiced world, but back to the story.
Tom gets up to a number of adventures throughout the book and all seem to be rather extraordinary feats in their own right. He becomes a pirate on an uninhabited island, he falls in love, he is lost in a cave, and he witnesses a murder and is made to testify in court and many more. Basically Tom Sawyer is a little shit that can’t sit down and do as he is told, I have nothing against that of course, I was a trouble maker when I was a kid also but I guess Tom is a bit more of a shit because he actually DID find treasure, and he DID end up with his love and the story DID end well for him even if Tom didn’t seem to evolve as a character throughout, whilst I never found treasure or love, just a councilors intervention.
I also feel bad for Huckleberry Finn because he seems like a stand up kid that has done nothing wrong to end up in the situation of squalor that he has. The town’s people discard him and even Tom who Huck has helped throughout wishes not to be seen in public with him. It isn’t until Huck saves an old lady and finds treasure with Tom that he becomes respected, which he discovers he hates so gives his treasure to Tom and runs away. Huck is a kid to be inspired by, and his character evolves throughout also. I haven’t read Huckleberry Finn but I will need to give it a go now that I’ve been introduced.
The story was enjoyable even if nothing really seemed to happen to Tom. Don’t get me wrong, Tom did a lot of exciting things but nothing happened to Tom himself. He never seemed effected or changed in any way, but then again I guess that’s what kids are like? Easily distracted? I don’t know, I’ve decided not to have kids so haven’t really looked into it. All kids are little shits in my eyes.
Some people don’t like the Tom Sawyer novel as much as the Huckleberry Finn story but at the end of the day if I wrote a novel that was as highly regarded 138 years after it was released then I would view that as an astonishing achievement.