The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book cover
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What is Aunt Polly's character like? What sort of language is used to describe her?

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Interesting question! In the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Aunt Polly is an important character. Aunt Polly has many unique attributes.

Foremost, Aunt Polly is compassionate. Aunt Polly cares for Tom even though he is not her biological son. As the book shows, Tom often causes problems and incites Aunt Polly to worry; however, Aunt Polly continues to care for Tom. As Aunt Polly’s thoughts reveal:

“He’s my own dead sister’s boy, poor thing, and I ain’t got the heart to lash him, somehow.”

Subsequently, the text supports this assessment of Aunt Polly. For example, the text describes her as being “tender” and possessing “measureless love” for Tom.

Furthermore, she often utilizes her own mental acuity to try and trap Tom in his rebellious actions. For example, she tries to cleverly question Tom about his actions to determine his guilt. However, she is rarely successful in outwitting Tom. The text describes her questions as “full of guile, and very deep.”

Lastly, she is also religious. Aunt Polly recites Bible verses to Tom and encourages him to follow Biblical principles. As the text reveals:

“Aunt Polly had family worship: it began with a prayer built from the ground up of solid courses of Scriptural quotations, welded together with a thin mortar of originality; and from the summit of this she delivered a grim chapter of the Mosaic Law, as from Sinai.”

Thus, Aunt Polly has many different characteristics in the book. With her multiple attributes, Aunt Polly represents a fairly complex and positive character.

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