In "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," upon seeing the dead body of Injun Joe, Tom felt both relief and what?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Upon seeing the dead body of Injun Joe, Tom feels pity, as well as "an abounding sense of relief and security".  Ever since he had spoken in court in defense of Muff Potter, Tom has been terrified that Injun Joe would seek revenge on him.  Now that he is dead, Tom finally feels safe.  He no longer needs to worry about Injun Joe seeking retribution at his expense.

Tom also feels pity upon seeing the body of Injun Joe.  Unbeknownst to him, after he and Becky Thatcher had been lost in the cave, the Judge had taken measures to ensure that no one would ever be lost in the cave again.  The Judge had had the door to the cave "sheathed with boiler iron...and triple locked"; he himself had kept the keys.

When Tom learns what the Judge has done, he tells everyone that Injun Joe is still in the cave.  "A dozen skiffloads of men" hurry down to the cave, and when the door is unlocked, Injun Joe is found, "stretched upon the ground, dead, with his face close to the crack of the door, as if his longing eyes had been fixed, to the latest moment, upon the light and the cheer of the free world outside".  Despite his relief, Tom is touched by the scene.  Having been recently trapped in the cave himself when he and Becky had lost their way, he understands the suffering that Injun Joe must have had to endure (Chapters 32-33).

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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