The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does the graveyard look like in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain?

Expert Answers info

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,967 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The graveyard is old and overgrown.

According to Huck, you can cure warts with a dead cat if you take it to the graveyard at midnight "when somebody that was wicked has been buried." You then have to say the chant 'Devil follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm done with ye!'  This ritual is supposed to get rid of the warts.

Huck and Tom visit the graveyard at night, and, as planned, Huck has the dead cat. The graveyard is full of tall grass, which the boys have to "wade" through. The graveyard is described as the "old-fashioned Western kind." The graveyard is on a hill not far from the village, and surrounded by a “crazy board fence.” Most of the headstones are no longer even legible.

Grass and weeds grew rank over the whole cemetery. All the old graves were sunken in, there was not a tombstone on the place; round-topped, worm-eaten boards staggered over the graves, leaning for support and finding none (Chapter 9).

Three huge elm trees are growing near the grave. The cemetery is oppressively silent. The only sound is the hooting of an owl in the distance, and the boys are clearly unnerved. The boys then hear three men arguing as they dig up one of the graves. These men turn out to be Injun Joe, Doctor Robinson, and Muff Potter.

Finally a spade struck upon the coffin with a dull woody accent, and within another minute or two the men had hoisted it out on the ground. They pried off the lid with their shovels, got out the body and dumped it rudely on the ground (Chapter 9).

Robinson and Potter get into a fight, and Robinson hits Potter with a headstone. While Potter is unconscious, Joe stabs Robinson while Potter. Joe then puts the knife in Potter’s hand and tells him he was the one who stabbed Robinson. Potter believes him and swears Joe to silence. Of course, the boys know what really happened.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

aholmes03 | Student


aholmes03 | Student

Describe what the graveyard is like in The Adventures of TomSawyer