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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Final Project

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Megan Cahalin

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Final Project

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer A Coming of Age Journey BY: Megan Cahalin Inexperienced Examples of Inexperienced Tom in the Novel The novel begins focusing on the main protagonist, Tom Sawyer, an immature, childish prankster. Due to his lack of experience, Tom is unaware of others' feelings and has no respect for authority. He treats life as one big joke and does not take responsibility for his actions. Plays hooky- Tom shows zero respect of the school rules and regardless of the consequences, skips school to go swimming. This act of immaturity shows the reader Tom's poor sense of priority and decision making.
Fence Scam- When Aunt Polly punishes Tom for skipping school, she makes him whitewash the old fence in front of their house. Instead of accepting his consequence, Tom tricks other boys into doing the manual labor for him, while he takes a nap. This shows that Tom is not ready to take responsibility for his actions. Call To Adventure When Tom and Huck were following an old superstition to remove warts that required them to go to a graveyard, they stumble upon an ufortunate event that would change the course of their lives and lead them on a journey to coming-of-age. Tom's Call to Adventure The Murder- While the boys are taking part in some foolish superstition, they overhear three men arguing while digging up a grave. After a short, but tense, fight, the argument takes a turn for the worse and one man acts out and murders another. The blame is placed on the innocent, unconscious drunkard. The boys undergo a tough decision whether to speak to the authorities and put themselves in danger from revenge of the murderer or forget about it but feel guilty. Tom and Huck agree to not tell a soul and begin a journey full of moral dilemma when the fate of one man's innocence is in their hands. Adventures and Painful Lessons After Tom and Huck witnessed the traumatic event, that would bring them on a journey full of intense situations, they soon start to experience a series of painful lessons. Even they the lessons were very difficult to overcome, they all taught him something about becoming a better person. Everyone learns from their mistakes and these boys are no exception. Examples of When Tom Undergoes Painful Lessons and New Adventures The Change is Complete At this point in the novel, Tom has been able to overcome the central conflict and is a much better man for it. He now cares about others, is acting selfless, and is taking accountability for his actions like an adult. Though he might not realize it at the time, this coming-of-age journey saved his own life as well as the life of Becky. Examples of Tom's Metamorphosis Into Adulthood The Cave- Instead of waiting for Huck's signal, Tom decided to go off and play with Becky. They wander into an abandoned cave and suddenly get lost in the twisting turns. Becky begins to panic when she thinks there is no way out. They explore even further into the cave and finally sit down to rest. Tom takes full responsibility for getting them lost in the underground chamber and apologizes for putting her in harm's way. Tom lets Becky stay behind while he goes to find a way out. He returns soon after and carries her to the passage way out. This shows he finishes his change into a responsible man when he is forced to care for the well being of others. Reflection and Nostalgia At this point in the novel the main focus is placed on Huck Finn, as Tom does not encounter a sense of reflection or nostalgia. Huck, on the other hand, thinks back on his old lifestyle with a sense of desire after he moved in with the widow. Examples of Huck Looking Back on His Old Life After moving in with the Widow Douglas and finding Injun Joe's treasure, society would assume that Huck was in a better place in his life. He was given a stable living situation and a caregiver for his every needs. However, Huck is not convinced that the exchange of freedom for a normal life is worth it. He feels that the money is not very useful in his simple life and would rather go back to his rough, free spirited life as a wanderer. This self reflection and sense of nostalgia are perfect examples that he has not fully changed. Tom Runs Away- After a variety of upsetting and heartbreaking events, such as Becky returning his doorknob to him and Aunt Polly crying over him, Tom decided to become a pirate and run away. In hopes of forgetting his sorrows and leaving the past behind, Tom realized that his actions have consequences that can deeply hurt others and decided to return back to Aunt Polly and leave her a note. When he arrived at his house he peeks in at Aunt Polly crying at the kitchen table along with Joe Harper's mother. An overwhelming sense of remorse and regret swept his conscience and he realized how much pain he caused his aunt. Even though Tom did not leave the note, this shows he is starting to gain a conscience because he had to think whether to leave the note or not.
Tom Testifies for Muff Potter- As the innocent Muff Potter waits in jail for his trial, the decision to remain quiet about witnessing the real murder weights heavy on Tom's mind. He knows that Huck and him promised to not tell a soul but after visiting Muff in jail, Tom realizes he is torn between breaking a promise with is best friend and potentially suffering Injun Joe's revenge or keeping quiet but have to bear to see an innocent man be jailed. When Muff was talking to the boys, he kept on saying things about how Tom and Huck were his best friends and how he is so grateful for them visiting him. The night before the trial, Tom sneaks out and goes to Muff's lawyer to tell him what happened and asks to be called to the stand at the trial. This shows tom cares about others and even though Huck will get mad, Tom knew he had to do the right thing. Homecoming and New Challenges As the novel comes to a close and life is easier for Tom, Huck, on the contrary, is faced with a whole new set of challenges. When he is placed in his new life, Huck suffers with some problems that living with the widow brings. The story ends with Huck as a work-in-progress and us readers are not sure whether the Widow Douglas’s attempts to civilize him will be successful. Examples of Huck's New Challenges Huck's Problems with His New Home- While living with Widow Douglas, Huck comes across many problems. Huck hates the fact that she makes him bathe on a regular basis because when he didn't have a home, he never needed to clean himself. He also hated that he couldn't eat with utensils or sleep on a bed with sheets.
Huck's Struggle to Stay with the Widow- All of these issues are weighing heavily on his mind and makes the temptation to leave even stronger. The only thing holding him back is the promise that he could be a robber with Tom if he stayed with Widow Douglas.
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