Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. Tom Sawyer also appears in Huckleberry Finn. How does his character differ in the two books?

2. Twain claims that his portrait of Huckleberry Finn in this book is drawn from life. Investigate Twain’s early life to see how he derived Huck and other elements of the story.

3. Compare the language of Tom Sawyer with that of its sequel. Choose a significant passage from each and compare vocabulary and tone. What differences occur as a result of Huck speaking for himself?

4. Compare Tom Sawyer to one of Twain’s later works (other than Huckleberry Finn) in which Tom appears. Is the later story less effective? Why or why not?

5. Discuss Tom as a rebel. Which conventions of society does he accept? Which does he reject?