TOM SAWYER Theme Analysis

Explain how the two themes are developed throughout the text, citing at least five pieces of evidence (from quotations, descriptions, action, or other literary devices chosen by the author) for each theme. Use ​MLA format and adequate length to identify, support, and explain how the themes are developed throughout the book.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a powerful novel that explores the energy and humor in a bid to distinguish between freedom, maturity, and responsibility. It is a book that brings out some vital factors affecting young people in Missouri Town. These young kids are driven by aspects of alienation, superstition, and limitations in their minds. It explores the joys of childhood whereby, children live a life free of worries and responsibilities as compared to adulthood. It also explains the difference and conflicts between how Tom perceives the world and how the adulthood world is. Several significant themes have been used in writing the book to keep the reader focused and entertained at the same time
Friendship is a vital and visible aspect of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The book explores the close friendship between Tom Sawyer, Joe Harper, and Huck Finn. Tom is a child who has a larger picture of life, as his life is configured through imaginations and adventures. Tom, an orphaned child living with his close relatives, that is, Aunt Polly, Sid, and Mary did not support his imaginative perception of life. Joe and Harper look up to Tom in admiration of his imaginative and adventurous nature of thinking. As highlighted by SparkNotes Editors the three boys rely on each other as they pursue life and together they bring forth a sensitizing world of adventure and interest (Sec 3). Tom and Huck are particularly close as they borrow traits form each other.
Tom is concerned about Hack because he feels that Hack has been left alone in life. In an instance, for example, where the boys return from their pirating escapade after they have been declared dead, Tom and Joe are welcomed and showered with love while Huck has no one to smother him with affection. Tom feels disturbed and he tells Aunt Polly “it isn’t fair. Somebody’s got to be glad to see Huck” (Twain 625). Tom loves the fact that Huck does not have to answer to any adult or follow rules compared to him who has to follow orders from his aunt Polly
Aunt Polly forbids Tom from playing with Huck but Tom in countless times disobeys his aunt’s orders and brags about it, proving his loyalty to Huck. In another instance, they demonstrate their loyalty to each other when they secretly see Injun Joe kill Dr. Robinson and then pins it on Muff Potter as he was drunk and wasted when the incident occurred.  They swore they would never tell of what they had seen and if they told anyone, they would drop down dead in their tracks. They then sealed the oath through their blood.
According to SparkNotes Editors  hypocrisy in adult society is another theme well noted in the book ?(Sec 3). Twain explains that the society of St. Petersburg defines themselves as people who abide by the law, following all directives by book in all aspects, that is, the government, the church, and how they run their families. They have set rules and regulations for their children which they must follow to the book. The adults follow a structure of moral values, which are taught in the church and the schools. Everyone in the town of St. Petersburg goes to church on Sunday for the sake of following the law (SparkNotes Sec 3). Tom and his friends demonstrate an entirely different aspect compared to that of their seniors.
Twain brings a better picture showing that adults do a different thing compared to what they say. For example, Aunt Polly threatens to whip Tom with her switch for his disobedience but instead, she taps him with a thimble on the head. Twain also demonstrates how adults fail to follow their words even when there are situations that should push them. For instance, on different occasions, Tom and his friends run away from home for their adventures, leaving those at home very worried; but when they return home, instead of them being punished they are welcomed with lots of love.
In their adventures, Tom and his friends unravel some mysteries, even though they break the rules. For example, when they secretly see the mastermind behind Dr. Robinson’s death, tracking down Injun Joe’s treasure and leading to his death after an order to seal the cave completely is given while Injun is inside and he ends up dying due to starvation and dehydration. In this case, (Spark Editors Sec 3) the adults have a responsibility to thank the boys considering they lead to some positive outcomes even though they defied the rules
Mark Twain has vividly brought out some significant themes when he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and it is by these themes that the reader feels engaged and gets a better understanding. The theme of childhood friendship is demonstrated from the beginning to the end same as the one of hypocrisy among the adults. For the friendship theme, loyalty is key in a friendship considering that Tom and Huck remained friends due to the loyalty they bestowed in each other. Hypocrisy has blinded many people who feel that they are always right and yet their actions comprise their being perfect.

Works Cited

SparksNotes Editors. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” 2005 Accessed from
Twain, Mark. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

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