About the Author

Mark Twain’s life is important to his writing, for his major works rely upon materials from his Hannibal, Missouri, boyhood and his careers as a […]


Tom Sawyer introduces several significant figures in American mythology, including the hero of Huckleberry Finn, one of the central works of American literature. Nonetheless, Tom […]


The intent of the novel, Twain states, is to entertain “boys and girls” and to “pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves.” In […]

Themes and Characters

Tom Sawyer is a trickster figure who challenges the rules of conventional society. He and his younger half-brother Sid are wards of their highly conventional […]

Literary Qualities

The mid-19th century produced a number of books dealing with boys rebelling against conventional society, such as Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s Story of a Bad Boy […]

Social Sensitivity

As in Huckleberry Finn, the Characters in Tom Sawyer exhibit attitudes typical of the mid-19th century, referring to black Characters as “niggers,” though not as […]