Realistic Hero in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Tom Sawyer, the main character of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain, is an average boy who is bored with his civilized life and escapes these constraints by pulling pranks. The character, Tom is presented as a realistic and convincing boy. He is kind and loving, but also cruel, stupid, and hypocritical. As the story progresses, Tom shows signs of maturity. The story of Tom Sawyer, as well as TOM being about a realistic character, is a story that is instructive to adults and children.
Tom is shown, throughout the story, as a typical boy of his time. He has a loving, happy home, with his devoted Aunt Polly to care for him. He is restricted by his home routine of prayers, meals, chores, bedtime, ETCTERA, but when his routine life gets TOO dull, he has the nearby river and woods, where he can go to escape. Though Tom is not ” the model boy” of the village. He plays boyish pranks on Aunt Polly, Sid, his friends, and everyone in town. He steals, lies, plays hooky, fights, and goes swimming secretly, but he is a normal boy, what normal boys do at his age.
Tom is an imaginative boy who has a good knowledge about human behavior and knows how to use it. He continually outwits his Aunt Polly, and also persuades other boys to do his work for him, without them even knowing of his trickery. One example of this is in the whitewashing scene, when his Aunt Polly makes him whitewash the outside fence before he is allowed to play. He slyly convinces the first boy by saying “…I don’t see why oughtn’t like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence everyday?” (21) With this cunning use of words he manipulates the boy to whitewash the fence, which leads to others also joining in to help. In the end, Tom has made a tidy profit as well as GETTING the whitewashing done without actually doing it.
As well as Tom being known as a strong boy, he also has fears. He is afraid, at various times in the book, of being harmed by Injun Joe, starving to death with Becky in the cave, of witchcraft, and of death during the thunderstorm when he is ill with the measles.