segunda-feira, 11 de novembro de 2013

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Text By James Topham

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
By James Topham

Mark Twain is one of America's most-quoted and best-loved writers. He remains today one of that country’s greatest wits and story-tellers, and his tales seem to epitomize the steamboat South of the nineteenth century. Urbane, clever, but always truthful in his writing, Twain has created a number of stories that are loved by children and adults alike.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is just one of these tales, and is unequaled in its evocation of the Mississippi River and the lives of those people who live on its shores. Touching and funny, and always engrossing, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is, and probably always will be, a much-read American classic.

Tom Sawyer is a young boy living with his Aunt on the banks of the Mississippi River. He seems to most enjoy getting into trouble. After missing school one day (and getting into a fight), Tom is punished with the task of whitewashing a fence. However, he turns the punishment into a bit of entertainment as proceeds to con other boys to finish the work for him. He convinces the boys that the chore is a great honor, so he receives in small precious objects in payment.

Around this time, Tom falls in love with a young girl, Becky Thatcher, and suffers under a whirlwind romance and engagement to her before she shuns him. She hears of Tom's previous engagement to Amy Lawrence. Tom realizes that his luck is not entirely in with girls, so he starts a firm friendship with Huckleberry Finn, the very poor sun of a town drunk. While on an adventure in a graveyard at night, witnesses a murder by a native American, Injun Joe.
Afraid of the consequences of this knowledge, he and Huck swear an oath of silence. However, Tom cannot help but break this oath when another man is tried in Injun Joe's place. Tom testifies to what he has seen, the innocent Muff Potter is released, and Injun Joe escapes through a window in the courtroom. Tom gets up to various other adventures, including running away with Huck and another friend, to live like pirates on an island in the Mississippi.

Believing that they are dead, the town prepares their funeral, at which the three boys suddenly appear causing consternation to all. The court case isn't Tom's only encounter with Injun Joe however, as in the final part of the novel he and Becky (newly reunited) get lost in one of the caves, and Tom stumbles across his archenemy. Escaping his clutches and finding his way out, Tom manages to alert the townspeople who lock up the cave, leaving Injun Joe inside. Our hero ends up happily however, as he and Huck discover a box of gold (that once belonged to Injun Joe) and the money is invested for them. Tom finds happiness and, much to his distress, Huck finds respectability by being adopted.

Tom Sawyer is a riotous adventure shot through with humor, pathos and great spades full of excitement. What's more the pure joy for life that Tom, Huck and the other boys of Twain’s imagination go about their riotous business is a joy to behold. It takes one back and makes one pine for a simpler time when the most pressing business was whether to pretend to be pirates or go hunting for treasure.
What's more, by introducing Injun Joe into the mix, Twain manages to heighten the boys adventures by adding real danger, real intrigue (and a little bit of real life). Although he is, in the end, victorious, we cannot help but worry for the easy-go-lucky boy, Tom, even though he rarely worries for himself. What's more, in the character Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain has created a wonderful and enduring character, a chipper poor boy who hates nothing more than respectability and being "sivilised," and wants nothing more than to be out on his river. Huck was so enduring that he well deserved his own set of adventures (which Twain wrote as a sequel to Tom Sawyer).

Uproarious fun, and never lacking in excitement, Tom Sawyer is both a wonderful children's book and a book perfect for those adults who still are children at heart. Never dull, always funny, and sometimes poignant, it is a classic novel from a truly great writer.
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