What is good in the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?What is good in the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As long as you realize that this is fundamentally an opinion question with no "right" or "wrong" answer, I am happy to share my thoughts!  I suppose in the numerous times I have read this episodic novel, I have begun to rate Tom's different adventures in my mind.  There are many things that are "good" about this famous book by Mark Twain, but my absolute favorite part is probably the most famous scene of trickery in all of American Literature:  where Tom Sawyer convinces his friends to whitewash the fence.  Aunt Polly's fence needs whitewashing (a dull and thankless job), and Tom is determined NOT to do this task.  Therefore, he uses his wit and his skill of persuasion to convince the local miscreants of the town that whitewashing a fence is the most fun in the world!  Tom is so very good at his art of persuasion that the boys do the work AND give up their biggest treasures to do so.  Aunt Polly is so pleased with Tom's "work" on the fence, that she rewards Tom!  What a hoot!

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My favorite episode in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is when Tom decides to take Becky’s punishment and save her from a spanking by the schoolmaster for spilling ink across the page of his book. The description builds up lots of suspense as the mean schoolmaster questions each student, and Becky is just positive that she will be caught. Even though she and Tom are on the outs, he makes an instantaneous decision to stand up and announce “I done it!” to save Becky. He reaps the rewards for his gallant act when Becky worshipfully asks him later, “Tom, how could you be so noble?”

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Sometimes I think this is a book that people either love or hate. If you don't like it, it's not because it's not a good book. It's just that the episodic nature of the book, and the childish plot, does not thrill them. Even these naysayers do usually like the ending. You just have to remember that the book is basically a good time, not nearly as serious as its sequel.
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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