The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book cover
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Where did Aunt Polly catch Tom hiding?

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The start of Tom Sawyer opens with Aunt Polly looking all over the house and yard for Tom. The first word of the book is her shouting, "TOM!" (ch. 1). She looks around the room, checks under a bed with a broom, and even looks outside in the garden. Finally, she hears a slight noise:

There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight (ch. 1).

She finds him hidden in a closet with jam all over his hands. Aunt Polly asks him what is all over him, and he lies, saying he doesn't know. She responds,

Well, I know. It’s jam—that’s what it is. Forty times I’ve said if you didn’t let that jam alone I’d skin you. Hand me that switch (ch. 1).

Aunt Polly is upset with Tom for hiding from her and for sneaking into the fruit jam, a sweet snack, when he is not supposed to. She's also upset with him for lying to her. For all of these reasons, she suggests that she is going to punish him.

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In chapter 1 of Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, we find Aunt Polly searching for Tom restlessly in the house and in the garden. She shouts his name several times, but he doesn’t reply. She believes Tom is hiding quietly somewhere in the house. She tries to surprise him by shouting:

"Y-o-u-u Tom!"

Her scheme works, as Tom gets afraid and gives a small reaction to this sudden and loud voice. She immediately turns back to the place from where she hears a noise, giving Tom little chance to escape. And Voila! She catches Tom hiding in a closet, eating jam secretly. Though quickly after that, however, Tom flees again.

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