September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
Considering the kind of boy Tom Sawyer is, it comes as no surprise that he does not particularly enjoy going to church. He finds going to Sunday school, where he memorizes verses from the bible to be hopelessly useless, and even goes through the trouble of an 8 stepped trade to accomplish his goal in the class.
Yet this is not a trait that only applies to Tom, but to many of today’s children as well. Children today who go to church every Sunday rarely go by choice. Being born in a religious family means that they will be taken to church every week from infancy.
Eventually, these children, through their undeveloped nature, start to question these events when they realize they could be playing games instead. This questioning can turn into resentment, sometimes against religion itself or just the requirement of going to church. Tension can also arise from a child’s continuous attempts to escape these responsibilities but are continually forced to attend them, such as in Tom’s case.
Tom is an adventurer, as many kids are. He would rather spend his time pushing through the frontiers of his backyard and in the woods that being forced into a situation he does not want to be in. Children would much rather explore the unknown that consistently follow the same lessons. Tom sees no reason to follow these rules of religion, and it is for this same reason that a large amount of children today do not go to church every week but can still be Christian.
August 31, 2010 § Leave a comment
At the young age of 15, Samuel Clemens began his career as writer, employed by his brother to write for a small paper in Hannibal Mississippi. Unfortunately, as commented on in this article , his brother did not realize his true potential soon enough to turn it into one of the best selling papers in America.
Samuel experienced much of the same history as Tom Sawyer(who happens to be his own fictional character!), as evident in his leaving home at the age of 17 in the hopes of finding adventure. However, he did not share all of Tom’s characteristics, because Tom Sawyer most likely never would have given up on these adventures to become one of the safest pilots on the Mississippi River, as Samuel Clemens did. It was here though, that he was able to fully explore nature and the setting that would soon lay the groundwork for his book, Tom Sawyer.
Clemens later spent a short amount of time as miner, another even which he could have possibly reiterating as part of Tom’s life in his novel. Yet it was not because of Injune Joe that he hurried out of the caves this time, but because he was given the opportunity again to do work for another paper instead.
It was not until later that Mark Twain had to wait for his fame to be granted to him, when his story titled “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County” became an unintentional success. Not only did Samuel Mark Clemens-Twain include his life’s history and experiences in the story of Tom Sawyer, as many other posts including A Window Into Memory and Tom Sawyer: An Autobiography? have mentioned, but I believe he was also able to build upon these and mold them into the magical childhood of a young boy.
August 29, 2010 § 6 Comments
Tom appears to always have some sort of animalistic device with him, whether it is a cat’s claw or a box containing a live tick. Unusually, Tom understands exactly how, in the later situation, his tick feels. When he first discovered the tick in his pocket, Tom’s “face lit up with a glow of gratitude that was prayer,” and just as he emptied the tick from its box, “the creature probably glowed with a gratitude that amounted to prayer” as well (53). However, the difference here that allows Tom to use this bug as a device for his own entertainment rather than a fellow companion as their descriptions might suggest is that the tick “probably” feels as he does. He does not appear to understand the insect’s feelings because when the tick began “thankfully to travel off,” Tom does not realize these emotions and instead toys with him by making him “take a new direction”(53). The tick experiences the same human emotions as Tom, but Tom is completely unaware of this and sees the animal only as a toy. It is as he first described it, just a thing “of interest to do to pass the dreary time”(53). By identifying it as merely something to “do,” it means that this animal is nothing more than an activity as opposed to another living being to perform an activity with, as we might normally believe. This is again emphasized when we learn that Tom Sawyer and Joe Harper’s “sport grew in interest momently”(54). It is admitted here that this is nothing more than a sport, a game for fun. However, by calling the tick their “prisoner,” they are at least proving that he is not just an object to through around in their game, but a living being that they can control.