What are some specific passages in Tom Sawyer where Twain uses sarcasm to critique the traditions of small town life?

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One of the traditions of small town life that Twain loves to skewer is church. Tom has to memorize some verses before going to Sunday school, and for that, he "girded up his loins" and began to work on memorizing five verses from the Sermon on the Mount, "because he could find no verses that were shorter." "Girding up one's loins" in itself is a biblical term which refers to a man preparing for battle, and the fact that Tom chose the shortest possible verses he could find show his complete lack of interest in this chore. Also...it's painfully realistic, and thus funny. 

Once in church, he and the other children have to sit together and listen to Mr. Walters give them a speech in his "Sunday-school voice," a voice that is as pretentious as Tom feels church is.  

The latter third of the speech was marred by the resumption of fights and other recreations among certain of the bad boys, and by fidgetings and whisperings that extended far and wide, washing even to the bases of isolated and incorruptible rocks like Sid and Mary. But now every sound ceased suddenly, with the subsidence of Mr. Walters' voice, and the conclusion of the speech was received with a burst of silent gratitude.

More amusement and irony: the children cannot sit still for the entire speech and fights break out; the only time they become quiet again is when Mr. Walters finally stops talking and there's nothing to listen to. 

One of the visitors that day was Judge Lawrence, who "was from Constantinople, twelve miles away—so he had traveled, and seen the world." This is a slight exaggeration of small-town views of outsiders. 

All of the adults begin "showing off" in various ways, such as the librarian, who ran "hither and thither with his arms full of books and making a deal of the splutter and fuss that insect authority delights in." Even the judge "shows off," knowing that everyone else in the church is "showing off" for him. The sarcasm here is thick. They're all no better than Tom himself who, having spotted Amy Lawrence, begins to "show off" for her by tormenting his playmates. Also, they're all presumably in church to worship, but they are all focused on showing off for each other--including the visiting judge. 

When church services proper begin, Twain mentions that 

The choir always tittered and whispered all through service. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred, but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a great many years ago, and I can scarcely remember anything about it, but I think it was in some foreign country.

Again...The choir should presumably set the example of proper behavior during the service, but they do not, and Twain interjects his own commentary here that he's never known one to do so, that all he has is hearsay. 

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In the early chapters of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain employs sarcasm to critique the traditions of small town life, Sarcasm consists of remarks that are intended to ridicule.

--In Chapter 1, when Tom encounters a new boy, who appears to be wealthy by his attire, he is astounded. The boy wears a hat, shoes, even a necktie--"and it was only Friday," Twain adds sarcastically (as though wearing them on Sunday would make the boy's outfit more acceptable to Tom). As Tom stares at the other boy, he has a sense of the shabbiness of his own clothes, so Tom finds a way of asserting himself:

"I can lick you!"
"I'd like to see you try it."
"Well, I can do it."
"No, you can't either." 

The two continue in this manner, challenging each other until they finally fight. Tom wins, but when his back is turned, the new boy hurls a stone at him, striking him in the back. So, Tom chases the boy home and stands outside the gate, daring "the enemy" to come outside, but the "enemy" only makes faces at him while his mother calls Tom a "vicious, vulgar child."

--In Chapter 2 when Tom is assigned to whitewash a fence, he is rather discontented by this assignment; so, he tries to devise ways of getting out of the job. When Jim comes by with a bucket of water, Tom offers to let Jim whitewash part of the fence while he fetches the water. But, Jim has been forewarned by Tom's aunt that Tom will ask Jim to help him. So, when Tom offers him some of his possessions, Jim will not be swayed until Tom suggests that Jim see his sore toe. "Jim was only human--this attraction was too much for him," Twain adds. Then, Aunt Polly comes along with "triumph in her eye," so Jim runs off.

Tom's vigor in whitewashing after he sees his aunt diminishes, and he ponders alternative methods of enticement as other boys approach. He looks at the meager contents of his pockets, and he relinquishes the idea of trying to buy the others. However, Twain writes, "At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration."

When another boy comes by, Tom pretends that he is intent upon his painting and he enjoys it so much that he does not wish to go swimming with Ben when the boy suggests they go. This statement makes Ben see the act of painting "in a new light." Now, he wants to paint, too. But, Tom refuses to let him until Ben pleads and gives Tom his apple. Then, as he relaxes and eats his apple, Tom "planned the slaughter of more innocents."

--In Chapter 3 

Tom is rewarded for his having worked so hard and done such a thorough job on the whitewashing of the fence. Aunt Polly gives Tom an apple while delivering her lecture on how a treat tastes even better when it came "through virtuous effort." And, while his aunt "closed with a happy Scriptural flourish, he 'hooked' a doughnut."

As Tom departs, he sees Sid, so he throws six or seven clods that "raged like a hailstorm" around his half-brother. And, Tom's "soul was at peace, now that he had settled with Sid for calling attention to his black thread and getting him into trouble."

Further in this chapter, Twain adds another sarcastic remark when Tom Sawyer passes by the house of Jeff Thatcher and spots a new girl in the garden. She is a pretty girl with yellow hair and blue eyes. When Tom sees her, "The fresh-crowned hero fell without firing a shot."





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