The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book cover
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How does the setting of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer affect the characters and/or the story?

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Like most children's novels, Tom Sawyer is set in the past, the remembered childhood home of the author. In this case, that past is Twain's, and in the setting of St. Petersburg in the 1840s, Twain recalls and embellishes his own hometown of Hannibal, Missouri.

The St. Petersburg Tom Sawyer lives in is filled with settings that are suitable for adventures, such as the caves he and Becky find themselves lost in, as well as a haunted house, a river, a graveyard, and an island. All of these places help make the story more exciting.

One notable setting too is Cardiff Hill, outside of St. Petersburg, which Tom dreams of as an escape from the stifling confines of his village. Tom thinks of it as "a Delectable Land, dreamy . . . and inviting." It is the place of desire where he wants to go when he gazes out his of his school window, bored. The caves, on the other hand, while alluring and exciting, are also a setting of tension and potential nightmare, where Tom has to...

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