Tom, with his friends, Huckleberry Finn and Joe Harper, is a constant trouble-maker and his childish pranks and make-believe stories always get him into trouble at school, church, and make Aunt Polly worry about him incessantly.
Tom, the ever mischievous, runs away from the village, shows up at his own funeral, cleverly tricks his friends into trading his punishment with their tickets and even convinces young Becky into getting “engaged” by kissing him. Tom and his friends, during one of their usual shenanigans, unwittingly become witnesses to a gruesome murder committed by the town-reject and foreigner Injun Joe.
What the boys do with this information becomes the passage of their boyhood into adulthood. Will they continue to sit on this information or would their growing moral fiber and guilt force them to testify against a dangerous criminal? The book provides answers to this question.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer marks the nostalgic journey of a boy into maturity, and how over subsequent time and experiences, he changes from a carefree child into a conscientious adult. Tom learns courage, putting others ahead of him, and understanding his role in his community. Mark Twain explores the themes of social hypocrisy, bigoted notions and superstitions in his novel. The fictional town of St. Petersburg, where Tom lives with his Aunt Polly and his friends, is based on the town of Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain’s home town.
Published in 1876, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has stood the test of time and still remains one of the most loved stories in literary history, despite being banned from schools at some point of time for its themes of bigotry. Though accurate book sales records were not maintained prior to 1895, it is estimated that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The book has been adapted into numerous films and plays. Mark Twain also wrote two sequels to the novel, namely, Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer Detective.