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Essays on the Realistic Hero in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Realistic Hero in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer, the main character of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain, is an average boy who is bored with his civilized life and escapes these constraints by pulling pranks. The character, Tom is presented as a realistic and convincing boy. He is kind and loving, but also cruel, stupid, and hypocritical. As the story progresses, Tom shows signs of maturity. The story of Tom Sawyer, as well as TOM being about a realistic character, is a story that is instructive to adults and children.

Tom is shown, throughout the story, as a typical boy of his time. He has a loving, happy home, with his devoted Aunt Polly to care for him. He is restricted by his home routine of prayers, meals, chores, bedtime, ETCTERA, but when his routine life gets TOO dull, he has the nearby river and woods, where he can go to escape. Though Tom is not ” the model boy” of the village. He plays boyish pranks on Aunt Polly, Sid, his friends, and everyone in town. He steals, lies, plays hooky, fights, and goes swimming secretly, but he is a normal boy, what normal boys do at his age.

Tom is an imaginative boy who has a good knowledge about human behavior and knows how to use it. He continually outwits his Aunt Polly, and also persuades other boys to do his work for him, without them even knowing of his trickery. One example of this is in the whitewashing scene, when his Aunt Polly makes him whitewash the outside fence before he is allowed to play. He slyly convinces the first boy by saying “…I don’t see why oughtn’t like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence everyday?” (21) With this cunning use of words he manipulates the boy to whitewash the fence, which leads to others also joining in to help. In the end, Tom has made a tidy profit as well as GETTING the whitewashing done without actually doing it.

As well as Tom being known as a strong boy, he also has fears. He is afraid, at various times in the book, of being harmed by Injun Joe, starving to death with Becky in the cave, of witchcraft, and of death during the thunderstorm when he is ill with the measles.

An Analysis of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

An Analysis of Jane Eyre

The novel is rich in poetry, symbolism and metaphor. It does not fit easily into a definite pattern, being neither a novel of “manners” in the tradition of Austen, or a straightforward Gothic Romance in the style of Mrs Radcliffe. What Charlotte Bronte did was to create a work which cleverly blends elements of the two styles, and which remains uniquely independent of them at the same time, since it addresses issues which were at the time rather controversial.

The novel is written in the first person, and thus magnifies the central character – the reader enters the world of Jane Eyre and is transported through her experiences at first hand. This at once makes the work subjective, especially since we know that Charlottes Brontes own life and experiences were so closely interwoven with the heroine’s. As well as this we learn only at the end of the novel that the events are being related to us ten years after the reconciliation with Rochester – thus the narrative is RETROSPECTIVE (looking back). CB is clever in blending the narrative so that at times Jane seems to be speaking as an adult with adult hindsight , while at others she she is “in the middle” of them, as a child or young woman. The indecision which is a central issue in the book, is heightened by this device. We never know, as readers, whether to be entirely trustful of Janes actions and thoughts, because we are never sure wheher she is speaking impulsively or maturely.

This intensifies the readers dilemma as to what is “right” and “wrong” in the dramatic relationships which are part of JE’s life. Can we believe what the heroine says, or is she deceiving herself? The novel is primarily a love story and a “romance” where wishes come true but only after trials and suffering. The supernatural has its place, as do dreams, portents and prophesies. The heroine begins poor and lonely and ends up rich and loved; the orphan finds a good family to replace the wicked one; all the basic ingredients of classic romantic fairytale are present.

The romantic element is present in two forms in Jane Eyre; the “family” aspect is dealt with in the Gateshead, Lowood and Moor House episodes, which involve the exchanging of the wicked Reed family for the benevolent Rivers one; and the Love romance is dealt with in the Thornfield and Ferndean episodes.

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