Tom Sawyer Chapter Exegesis Scene Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Fighting fair, Tom still shines despite his aggression, particularly in light of Alfred's cowardly stone throwing when Tom's back is turned.


This first chapter in Tom's adventures is of cleverly constructed form; sharing all key elements needed to know in order to follow the story, identify with the protagonist, despise the multiple antagonists, and fondly recognize the doddering aunt as a 'straight man' to Tom's antics. The reader is immediately engaged in the story because Twain's style opens with dialog - known as a 'hook' in publishing parlance. The reader is instantly curious; why is this person named Tom being so vocally pursued? Who is doing the shouting? Why is this Tom character not responding?

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a snapshot of reality with which all readers can identify; it is not necessary to live in the backwaters of Mississippi to recognize sincere affection and security, sneaky and dishonest dealings, the bravado required when one is unwelcome but hiding it well, and the lasting desire to 'play hooky' and cause mischief in a tightly wound world.

Comparative Analysis

Tom Sawyer and Ebeneezer Scrooge are like fellows; scratchy and seemingly societal outcasts. When the results are in, however, they both have generous hearts and love for mankind.

In the Wizard of Oz, Tom can be compared to the Cowardly Lion; a reputation for prowess and courage, but really just a small child (cub) at heart.

In Peter Pan, Peter never wants to grow up - the quintessential similarity
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for all adults mired in life - Tom never does; Twain uses literary license to keep him perpetually the child and forever loved by millions.

Stuart Little is small, unique, and transplanted; Tom Sawyer is unique and assimilated into a family which is dissimilar to his nature and temperament. Each character grows through the challenges to become a beloved family member.

The Adventures of Harry Potter captures the timeless story of the abandoned child - taken in by distant relatives - who is forced to carve his path with the knife of his own choosing. Compared to Tom Sawyer, the similarities are striking; Tom forged his destiny with Southern dialect, an impish troublemaking spirit, and a good heart despite life's hardships.

Learning to comparatively analyze different works is a skill which all book lovers and scholars must acquire. As one reads any of the tales of a childhood without predictable security, the desire for a happy ending remains in the heart of us all.


Mark Twain began as a self-published author at a time when it should have been easy to be published with mainstream industry. No one believed in his work until many years later. As he paints pictures of life in the muddy, mosquito-swarming, lazy summer days on the Mississippi River, he takes the reader to a time of nostalgic longing and teaches lessons with stories, not sermons.

Mark Twain knew human nature; reading his work will improve our own.

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"Tom Sawyer Chapter Exegesis Scene", 12 December 2004, Accessed.27 October. 2020,