I need a quote from "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" showing that Tom lives in a fantasty world rather than reality from chpts. 35-39.

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In these chapters, Tom takes Jim being held in the shanty on his aunt's property as a chance to live out all of his fantasies that have spawned from his excessive reading of adventure novels.  He has read many, many different scenarios of prisoners that had to endure terrible agonies, that in the end had daring escapes and came out triumphant.  So, Jim is the perfect chance, as he sees it, to enact some of these scenarios.  Huck is the voice of logic through all of these escapades, constantly insisting on the simpler, more logical plan that would help Jim escape pretty easily, but Tom insists.

A couple good quotes can be found at the very beginning of chapter 35.  Tom is lamenting the fact that Jim's situation makes it much too easy for him to escape.  Tom says that "You got to invent all the difficulties."  The first "difficulty" that Tom insists on is a saw to "saw the leg of Jim's bed off, so as to get the chain loose," even though, as Huck points out, they could just lift the bed up.  The next is a rope ladder.  Huck points out that Jim is in a single-story shanty and so doesn't need it, to which Tom responds,

"He can hide it in his bed, can't he?  That's what they all do; and he's got to too."

Next in line is that Jim must keep a journal.  Huck points out that Jim can't write, but Tom insists, saying "he can make marks on the shirt, can't he?" because all good prisoners keep journals of their travails.

This type of conversation goes on, and on, and on, all the way through their escape in chapter 40.  Tom has got his head in the clouds, dreaming of exciting adventures, all while Jim is sitting there, prisoner, in a miserable situation. I hope that those quotes help; if you haven't read the chapters yet, I recommend them.  They are highly entertaining.  Good luck!

epollock | Student


Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," a canonical text of American English classes reveals a pragmatic and realist Huck, along with a romantic and idealist Tom. I wouldn't  suggest that Tom lives in a fantasy world, after all, it is Tom who leaves "five cents for pay" on the table for stealing the candles near the beginning of the book.

It can be argued that Tom does not live in a fantasy world for he has a clear difference between what is stealing and what is not, for a boy of his age.

Nevertheless, the Romantic Tom and Realist Huck, though Huck is unable to persuade Tom to be more logical, concoct an elaborate scheme to break Jim out of jail.

The beginning of the second paragraph begins with a disgruntled Tom remarking,

Blame it, this whole thing is just as easy and awkward as it can be. And so it makes it so rotten difficult to get up a difficult plan.

that the plan to break Jim out of jail is too easy and they have to break him out of jail in a more fitting fashion to appease Tom's romantic nature.

Huck does protest at the elaborateness of the plan, but is shot down by Tom who says later,

Well, if that ain't like just you, Huck Finn. You can get up the infant-schooliest ways of going at a thing. Why, hain't you ever read any books at all?--Baron Trenck, nor Casanova, nor Benvenuto...

Both characters seem to enjoy reading yet Huck is the only one who absorbs the information, while Tom reads at a superficial level and derives no meaning. There are many other quotes that describe the plan, along with many of Huck's protests of complicatedness.

This certainly show the differences in the characters of Tom and Huck.


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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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