One character that was really important in Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain(Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was Tom Sawyer, a young boy with a good upbringing. Throughout the story, he is mischievous, adventurous, stubborn  and completely impractical. These traits really shine through in everything he does.

At one point in the story, Huck asks Tom to help him free Jim and he doesn’t say that he’ll help because it’s right, but because he sees it as an opportunity for adventure. In the story, we see that more than anything, Tom thrives to have a “from the books” adventure. “‘Well, if that ain’t just like you, Huck Finn. You can get up the infant-schooliest ways of going at a thing. Why, hain’t you ever read any books at all?―Baron Trenck, nor Casanova, nor Benvenuto Chelleeny, nor Henry IV., nor none of them heroes? Who ever heard of getting a prisoner loose in such an old-maidy way as that?”(p. 214) This part of the book shows how Tom’s need to have an adventure like one that he has read about is often impractical as well as stubborn. If something isn’t by the book, he isn’t going to do it, which often leads to him over complicating things in order to have a story book adventure.

Tom Sawyer often influences other characters to partake in his crazy ideas of adventure because of his pure stubbornness. When he gets an idea, he pushes it to the point that nobody will oppose him and join him.

I both like and hate Tom Sawyer. While his need for adventure and love of books is good, his stubbornness annoys me. I love that he is an elaborate schemer and his need for adventure drives him; it’s what makes the end of the book so exciting. Although his scheming is what makes the book good, I hate how hard he pushes it. Not only is he rude to Huck for pointing out how flawed his plan is at the end of the book, but he endangers everyone involved. In the end though, if I had to pick whether I liked him more than hated him or vice versa, I would say that he’s more likable than not because nothing he does is with malicious intent. Tom Sawyer’s need for adventure lead him to make a few poor decisions but the fact that he is a good character keeps me from completely hating him.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Huck Finn Character Analysis- Tom Sawyer by Sarah is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. Shannon 7 months ago

    Hi Sarah, really good job writing this! I very much agree with your analysis on Tom Sawyer. There were times when reading that I got extremely frustrated with Tom, much like it sounds like you also did too. Do you think Twain did that on purpose? I believe he did in order to show how much Huck has grown throughout the book. Using Tom’s frustrating immaturity as a foil really helped emphasize his points as to how much Huck truly did change. I also like how you mentioned how much of an influence Tom was on the other characters in the book. Everything would have most likely been a lot more easier if they would have just done what Huck wanted to do in the first place. Why do you think that Twain made Tom so influential? Tom is a character that has many different sides and many different ways we could take an analysis of him. Once again, good writing!

  2. Melaina 7 months ago

    I found this character analysis very interesting because I wrote mine about Huck Finn, whom I believe is Tom Sawyers foil. I completely I agree with the idea that Tom is overly adventurous at times and that causes other people to follow in his footsteps, and it normally ends badly. Do you think that Tom Sawyer was a huge influence on Huck? One example that stands out to me is when the two boys were trying to free Jim. Huck was being realistic trying to find safe and quick ways to help Jim escape, just by grabbing a key etc… On the other hand, tom wanted to try all of these outrageous and dangerous ways of rescuing Huck, some of the ideas were even risking their lives. Do you think that Tom’s poor decisions and far fetched ideas are because of his young age, or is this just the person he is?

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