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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain

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What is Tom's perspective on his newfound wealth in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?

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In the final chapter of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom and Huck are both rich. Their windfall is invested at 6% interest by the judge and the widow, meaning that

Each lad had an income, now, that was simply prodigious—a dollar for every weekday in the year and half of the Sundays.

This money completely changes Huck's life, and not, in his view, for the better. After an existence of penury and almost complete freedom, he is forced into a respectable and regimented life with the wealthy Widow Douglas. As usual, Tom is a foil for Huck. Although his life with Aunt Polly was rather less grand than the widow's lifestyle, it has always been perfectly respectable, and Tom's newfound wealth does not really make any difference to his everyday existence. Therefore, while Huck regards the gold as a curse from which he has to escape, Tom is perfectly content with his lot. He is even instrumental in luring Huck back into mainstream society after he decides to reassert his freedom. He persuades Huck to return to the widow by the unusual means of promising him initiation into a gang of robbers.

"Looky here, Huck, being rich ain’t going to keep me back from turning robber.”

“No! Oh, good-licks; are you in real dead-wood earnest, Tom?”

“Just as dead earnest as I’m sitting here. But Huck, we can’t let you into the gang if you ain’t respectable, you know.”

As usual, Tom's rebellion against respectable society is comparatively mild and easily contained. He is quite happy with his wealth, since for him it represents only new opportunities without any new constraints.

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