September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
In the town of St. Petersburg, just as in any town in the world today, there is a constant struggle between the adults and the kids. More specifically, there is a game of tug-of-war between the authoritarian figures and the troublemakers. The adults with authority are constantly trying to constrict the kids to do as they say and to conform to the norms of society. They constantly correct them and scold them when they don’t accordingly.
The kids on the other hand, are constantly pushing the boundary between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior. They try to do any little thing that they can to bend the rules and irritate the adults. Although most kids don’t bend the rules as dramatically as Tom Sawyer and his friends, by fleeing to an island and following killers, they still bend the rules nonetheless.
There is just something about being rebellious that has a strong appeal to young kids. As one gets older, for the most part they get less and less rebellious and follow on the path their elders set out for them, hoping to succeed in life. The older they get, the more consequences their actions have and the more responsibility others expect out of them. Kids at Tom’s age though, even if they are the most innocent kids, feels the need to not listen and be a “bad ass”. It frustrates adults when the kids don’t listen even though they were that kid not listening just a few years ago.
This clash of the titans is found in every setting. It is found at home, between the parents and children, in school, between the teacher and the student, and in every other commonplace. This struggle will never end, even though it has favored the adults more and more since Tom’s era, as they continue to have more control over the kids.
One major frontier in the lives of these kids is college. Similar to the frontiers in old America, the explorers are on their own and have to learn how to survive. It is a new way of life and is nothing like the explorers have ever encountered before. Expanding to the frontier and going to college make the kids become independent and learn to adapt to their new lives. It is the first time that they no longer clash with their parents, but instead have to use everything that they were taught by them.
August 31, 2010 § Leave a comment
As previously stated in almost all of the blogs, Samuel Clemens’ childhood was very similar to Tom Sawyer’s. Both were adventurous kids who were very independent at a young age. They grew up in very similar towns in the south and just as Tom Sawyer didn’t have his parents around as a kid, Samuel’s father died when he was only 11 from pneumonia. From that age, Samuel had to stop his schooling and work.
After his Tom Sawyer like childhood, he went on to do many things. One of which, and a very important one at that, was learning how to grow a ridiculously good looking mustache to go along with having a sweet middle name (Langhorne). Samuel was both an author of many books and a philosopher. He has endless quotes relating to life and human nature.
When it came to nature, Clemens thought very highly of it and believed it was more beautiful than anything man could create. “Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.” (From Mark Twain’s Journal). His love for nature is clear in Adventures of Tom Sawyer, as Tom is constantly away from the civil world and entrenched in the primal, natural one.
August 30, 2010 § 3 Comments
Mark Twain clearly demonstrates the feelings of his main character, Tom Sawyer, at the end of chapter 5 of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Throughout the book, Tom constantly struggles to fit in with the civilized society in the town, as he would rather be free to act to do what he wants. When he is in church, this is no different. As he listens to the priests sermon, Twains describes that he “lapsed into suffering again” (40) depicting his disapproval of being trapped in a church when he could be out in town. While stuck in the church, Tom finds some source of entertainment. “He bethought him of a treasure he had and got it out. It was a large black beetle” (40) By describing a bug, which many would think nothing of, as a treasure shows that Tom finds fascination with nature and him keeping it in his pocket shows that Tom believes he can control nature. After the beetle interrupted the entire mass by biting a dog and completely taking everyone’s attention away from the priest, Tom had “some satisfaction about divine service when there was a bit of variety in it”, (42) showing how Tom finds joy in causing entertainment for others, even though he interrupted what is considered by the rest of the town to be something very important. He loves feeling like he caused the scene, even though he didn’t know the dog would come into play, because he strives for power, especially over nature, which is evident throughout the book. When the dog is thrown out the window, Tom “did not think it was upright in him to carry it off.” (42) This sentence to end the chapter further emphasizes Tom’s strive for control as he gets angry when something, in this case the dog, takes the control away from him.