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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain

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Who does Tom Sawyer marry?

Quick answer:

Tom Sawyer does not marry in the novel, but he and Becky Thatcher pledge to marry each other when they get older.

Expert Answers

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Tom Sawyer does not get married in the book. As the narrator notes at the novel's end, it is "a history of a boy" and must therefore stop before a marriage, which is how, the narrator says, adult books end.

In chapter 6, however, Tom and Becky Thatcher pledge to marry each other. As they seal their relationship, Tom says to her that she's not to love or marry anybody but him and she says the same about him. Of course, we learn in that same chapter that this isn't the first time Tom's been "engaged," as he slips and mentions Amy Lawrence, upsetting Becky.

While the two may break up, Twain states that most of the characters in book end up "prosperous and happy," which suggests that they marry. Also supporting a probable (though not certain) marriage is the fact that the relationship fits the American literary mythology begun by Washington Irving in which the most robust, daring, trickster boy gets the prettiest and richest girl. Tom fits the paradigm of the red-blooded boy popular with the other boys who gets ahead by his wits and audacity. Becky, with her pretty blond braids and status as the rich judge's daughter, fits the role of the girl who will fall to the boldest of the boys. This is a reframing of the European version of the love story, in which the hereditary lord or prince gets the girl.

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