The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is one of the best known books by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). The author drew on his own experiences as a boy growing up in the small river town of Hannibal, Missouri. The story's setting is in St. Petersburg, Missouri, in 1840 prior to the Civil War. Twain located the town beside a river with woods, an island, and a cave nearby. This setting provides many opportunities for his young characters to use their imaginations and get involved in exciting adventures. Most of the action takes place during one spring and summer of Tom's life.
Twain's style of writing used simple and humorous language and he especially liked to use dialogue. Much of the book is conversations between Tom and his friends. However, the narrator uses third person to tell parts of the story.
The main character in the book is Tom Sawyer, a boy who is mischievous and free-spirited. Tom is a very persuasive boy, as evidence by his ability to talk boys into whitewashing his Aunt Polly's fence. Furthermore, Tom is a natural leader. Tom is usually the one that talks his friends Joe Harper and Huck Finn into playing pirates or Robin Hood.
You can see that Tom has a great imagination, because he is an avid reader. Although, he likes to read, he hates school. He will play hooky any chance that he gets.
Tom goes to church and knows the difference between right and wrong, even though he sometimes steals, cheats, and lies. Tom usually feels guilty when he does something wrong.
Since Tom likes adventure so much, he usually gets into trouble. One example of this is when Joe, Huck, and Tom slipped out of town and went to Jackson's Island. Many people thought they had drowned while swimming. Another example of his adventuresome spirit getting him into a predicament is when Becky and he get lost in McDougal's Cave.
Huck Finn is Tom's best friend. He is less educated than Tom, because he never goes to school.