The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Questions and Answers
by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Who is Tom Sawyer?

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University


calendarEducator since 2014

write6,303 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

Tom Sawyer is the protagonist of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. On the surface, Tom Sawyer is a mischievous and naughty child. He is always jumping fences or figuring out ways to get out of work (like painting fences). He also doesn't have any problems with going through with a plan that convinces his entire family and town that he is dead. Tom is also quite capable of turning on the charm to get out of big trouble as well. There are instances when readers are tempted to think and believe that Tom just might display acts of altruistic heroism; however, Tom always has a way of making the reader question that opinion. For example, Tom willingly takes the blame and the punishment for the rip that Becky put in the teacher's textbook; however, we can't help but shake the feeling that Tom did it for the attention and self-glory. He is doing it to "get the girl."

Tom stood a moment, to gather his dismembered faculties; and when he stepped forward to go to his punishment the surprise, the gratitude, the adoration that shone upon him out of poor Becky’s eyes seemed pay enough for a hundred floggings. Inspired by the splendor of his own act, he took without an outcry the most merciless flaying that even Mr. Dobbins had ever administered; and also received with indifference the added cruelty of a command to remain two hours after school should be dismissed — for he knew who would wait for him outside till his captivity was done, and not count the tedious time as loss, either.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial