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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain

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Why does Tom Sawyer avoid school? What doesn't he like about it?  

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Tom Sawyer considers school "captivity" and has an especially hard time facing it on Monday mornings, after a weekend of freedom from its "fetters." Tom does his best to get out of school on a Monday morning, feigning that he's sick and then wandering in slowly. He is usually late.

Tom's problems are threefold: he gets into trouble for talking back to the teacher and being impudent; he has too much energy to sit still; and he doesn't have much interest in his schoolwork. We learn that he made

an honest effort to study, but the turmoil within him was too great.

Tom tends to get in trouble, including beatings and having his ear pulled by his teacher, which also tends to make him want to avoid the schoolroom.

Tom has a hard time concentrating. He is more interested in such subjects as ticks and dead rats than what he is supposed to be learning.

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Tom Sawyer dislikes pretty much everything about school that has anything to do with learning.  He likes chasing after girls, and he likes fighting with the boys.  But other than that, it is not much fun.

He does not like to have to sit still in the school room when it is nice outside.  He does not like having to listen to the teacher when he could be playing with a bug on his slate.  He really does not like much of anything.  Basically, Tom wants to be free, he wants to do things like going fishing and swimming.  School prevents him from doing this.

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