Tom Sawyer Novel Short Summary


Information about Mark Twain novel Tom Sawyer. The short summary, analysis and theme of Tom Sawyer.

tom-sawyerTom Sawyer; is a novel by Mark Twain, published in 1876. Set in a small Mississippi River town before the Civil War, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer deals with the escapades of an imaginative and enterprising boy. Tom plays hooky from school, offends his childhood sweetheart Becky Thatcher, goes on nocturnal sorties with his famous boon companion, Huckleberry Finn, and becomes accidentally involved in the murderous doings of a half-breed criminal named Injun Joe. In the end, Tom is reconciled with Becky Thatcher and with the forces of community law and order, when he testifies to save an innocent man accused of a murder committed by Injun Joe. There are other adventures, including the episode in which he hoodwinks his friends to do his work of whitewashing a fence —a story that has become a literary classic in its own right.

The characters are all drawn clearly. Tom Sawyer himself, the good-natured but irresponsible Huck Finn, the brightly sweet Becky Thatcher, and the simple, faithful, and affectionate Aunt Polly, with whom Tom makes his home, are depicted humorously and with golden sympathy. As a result, the elusive spirit of youth is captured in their history. No matter how melodramatic the plot may wax at times, there is a saline element of sanity and an ironic shrewdness in Twain’s treatment of the characters. These qualities maintain the net tone of his narrative this side of farce.

As a deeply nostalgic and poetic recreation of the author’s own youth on the Mississippi, in what he felt was a vanished era, the novel has retained its appeal for successive generations of children and adults and has come to be regarded, along with its sequel, Huckleberry Finn, as one of the greatest American novels.

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