Tom Sawyer The young protagonist of the novel. Living with his aunt St. Petersburg, Missouri, Tom has a penchant for adventure and “showing off. ” Constantly getting into mischief, he plays hooky from school and would rather go swimming than tend to his Sunday school lessons. Blessed with an active imagination, Tom dreams to be a noble robber such as Robin Hood or a pirate. Hungry for attention, Tom is obsessed with appearing noble and obtaining the envy of his peers. However, Tom is extremely clever and possesses an incredible insight on human nature.
Throughout the novel, Tom must learn to listen to his conscience and become accountable for his actions. Huckleberry Finn The town’s social pariah. Son of an abusive and drunkard father who left town, Huck has failed to have been raised with any parental guidance or authority figures. Because he can smoke a pipe and never has to attend church or school, he is the envy of every schoolboy and the nightmare of every mother in town. Huck and Tom often have adventures and both believe in various superstitions.
Although disregarded by the “sociables,” Huck possesses a kind spirit and consideration for others. Aunt Polly Tom’s somewhat elderly aunt and guardian. Religious, simple-mannered, and kind-hearted, Aunt Polly is respected among the citizens of St. Petersburg. Responsible for Tom’s discipline and upbringing, Aunt Polly is constantly torn between expressing her exasperation and showing her lover for Tom. Every time he causes trouble, another hair on her head turns gray; she often wishes Tom would behave properly like his brother, Sid. Sid Sawyer Tom’s younger half-brother.
Always trying to tattle on Tom, Sid keeps a close on eye his brother’s wrongdoings. A goody-two-shoes, he is a punctual and studious pupil. Mary Tom’s older cousin who resides with Aunt Polly. Mary is depicted as a sweet and good-hearted young lady who sees the good qualities in Tom’s character. Religious and pious, Mary was an exceptional student ¬ the opposite of Tom. Becky Thatcher The daughter of Judge Thatcher. Becky is Tom’s age and has recently moved into town. Prim and proper, Becky is the opposite of Tom: she has never been in trouble and is used to obeying her mother’s words.
With blonde hair and dressy frocks, she quickly wins Tom’s affection and attention. Injun Joe The antagonist of the novel. Guilty of several murders, Injun Joe possess a violent temperament is set on seeking revenge on those who have treated him harshly in the past. He attempts to frame Muff Potter for one of his own crimes and is pursued by the village authorities. Muff Potter The town drunk who is framed for the murder of Dr. Robinson. Although his kind nature and drunken state make him harmless, Potter is persecuted by the entire town that believes that he is a murderer.
Mr. Jones/Old Welshman The old Welshman who lives with his two strong sons in the vicinity of Widow Douglas’s house. With Huck’s help, the Welshman is able to come to the widow’s aide. Widow Douglas A rich, upper-class widow. With a kind spirit and a devotion to the Christian faith, the widow Douglas is known for her open hospitality and good nature. She also appears as a major character in Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Dr. Robinson The young doctor, guilty of grave robbing, whose murder instigates the chaotic happenings in St.
Petersburg. Joe Harper Tom’s bosom friend. One of Tom’s “gang” of pirates, Joe accompanies Tom on some of his adventures. Mrs. Harper Joe’s mother Amy Lawrence Tom Sawyer’s former girlfriend, whom he occasionally flirts with and was previously “engaged” to. Minor Characters: Judge Thatcher Becky’s father. A proud and well-respected man of justice, whose family has recently moved into town. Mrs. Thatcher Becky’s mother, wife of the Judge. Alfred Temple A well-dressed boy whom Tom thinks is snobby. Alfred also vies for Becky Thatcher’s attention.
Mr. Dobbins The schoolmaster. Hated by all the children, Mr. Dobbins is depicted as a stern and pathetic man who uses lashings as a method of discipline. Mr. Walter The Sunday School Superintendent who issues Bibles to the top students. Mr. Sprague The long-winded minister. Ben Rogers A young boy who is Tom’s friend. Setting The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is set in the town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, some time around the middle of the nineteenth century Biography of the Author Born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, Samuel L.
Clemens wrote under the pen name Mark Twain and went on to pen several novels, including two major classics of American literature, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was also a riverboat pilot, journalist, lecturer, entrepreneur and inventor. Twain died in Redding, Connecticut on April 21, 1910, having survived his children Langdon, Susan and Jean as well as his wife, Olivia. In his lifetime, he became a distinguished member of the literati, and was honored by Yale, the University of Missouri, and Oxford with literary degrees. Conflict Man vs.
man – Tom and Huck perceive their biggest struggle to be between themselves and Injun Joe, whose gold they want and whom they believe is out to kill them. Conflict also exists between Tom and his imaginative world and the expectations and rules of adult society. Moral of the Story Moral and Social Maturity When the novel opens, Tom is engaged in and often the organizer of childhood pranks and make-believe games. As the novel progresses, these initially consequence-free childish games take on more and more gravity. Tom leads himself, Joe Harper, Huck, and, in the cave, Becky Thatcher into
increasingly dangerous situations. He also finds himself in tight spots in which he must put his concern for others above his concern for himself, such as when he takes Becky’s punishment and when he testifies at Injun Joe’s trial. As Tom begins to take initiative to help others instead of himself, he shows his increasing maturity, competence, and moral integrity. Tom’s adventures to Jackson’s Island and McDougal’s Cave take him away from society. These symbolic removals help to prepare him to return to the village with a new, more adult outlook on his relationship to the community.
Though early on Tom looks up to Huck as much older and wiser, by the end of the novel, Tom’s maturity has surpassed Huck’s. Tom’s personal growth is evident in his insistence, in the face of Huck’s desire to flee all social constraints, that Huck stay with the Widow Douglas and become civilized. Point of View Third Person (Omniscient) – the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. As a narrator, Twain cannot only see what his characters are seeing and thinking, but he is able to channel their personalities.