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Literature: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
aka: Tom Sawyer

He (Tom) was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though—and loathed him.
Chapter 1

A classic novel written by American novelist Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens).

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is about the young Tom Sawyer and his adventures growing up in the mid-western United States of the 1840's — specifically, the mythical St. Petersburg, Missouri. The town is based on Twain's own Hannibal. A slice of Americana, Tom Sawyer is the precursor to the even more critically acclaimed: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The book is in public domain, and the full text is available online at Project Gutenberg. (Square also created a game loosely based on this novel that never made it outside Japan and a little-known musical by the same name was created.)

And believe it or not, the novel was adapted into two games for the NES. One is a Platform Game developed by SETA and the other, a Role-Playing Game by Square. The novel was also adapted into an anime as part of the World Masterpiece Theater.


  • Abusive Parents: Huck's dad.
  • The Alcoholic: Huck's dad, Muff Potter, and Injun Joe.
  • Age-Appropriate Angst
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Sid.
  • The Artful Dodger: Huckleberry Finn.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: A strong contender for the Trope Codifier.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Tom envies Huckleberry Finn for not having to wear shoes. He doesn't seem to realize it's because he doesn't have any shoes or even parents to make him put them on if he did.
    • But then, once Huck does receive shoes from Widow Douglas, he can't stand wearing them.
    • Subverted; it's noted that Huck is always the first boy to get out of shoes when the weather is warm and "the last to resume leather in the fall". He does own shoes, but until he's adopted no one cares about him enough to make him wear them.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Mary to Tom (especially) and Sid.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Referenced: Injun Joe lies about the murder he committed, and Tom and Huck fully expect him to be struck down by divine lightning and are very surprised when he isn't. A briefer episode sees Tom missing out on a religious revival in St. Petersburg, and consequently thinking that a passing thunderstorm is out to get him.
  • Break-Out Character: Huckleberry Finn.
  • Cat Concerto: Invoked; Huck complains about a time that he had to stand around meowing to signal Tom until a guy started throwing rocks at him through a window and exclaiming, "Dern that cat!"
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Tom and Becky do this. Then Becky is heartbroken when she finds out that Tom has, in fact, been engaged before.
  • Delinquents: Huck is seen as this by the rest of the town; naturally, Tom and his friends idolize Huck.
  • Disappointed In You: There is a passage where Aunt Polly starts crying and berating Tom. He thinks that for a moment, he hoped she'd just beat him.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: In story, there are women who treat Injun Joe like this and want him pardoned.
  • Fence Painting: Trope Namer. Tom convinces one boy after another that he likes whitewashing the fence, whereupon they trade knickknacks for a chance to take part. Read it in all its glory.
  • Forced into Their Sunday Best: Tom in an early chapter, and later Huck when the widow tries to civilize him.
  • Free-Range Children: To the extent that parents only worry if their kids don't come home for two or three nights in a row. After a local girl's birthday party, one of the planned activities was letting the kids wander through a cave and its elaborate system of unexplored tunnels, a cave where more than a few people have gotten lost and died.
  • Freudian Trio: Tom (ego), Huck (id), Becky (superego).
  • Girl Next Door: Becky Thatcher
  • Grave Robbing: This is what Dr. Robinson, Injun Joe and Muff Potter are doing in the graveyard until Joe murders Robinson. (Presumably for medical research, as the ringleader is a doctor.)
  • Guile Hero: Tom Sawyer
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tom with Joe Harper (earlier in the story) and Huck Finn (later).
  • Inconvenient Itch: This happens to Tom Sawyer when he is trying to hide silently in the dark.
  • Insanity Defense: Muff Potter's lawyer said to the jury he wanted to introduce this defense in account of his client's drunkness before making Tom and Huck testify.
  • The Load: Becky panics so much when she and Tom get lost in the cave that she becomes this.
  • Loveable Rogue: Tom Sawyer
  • Mixed Ancestry: Injun Joe. He's even called "Half-Breed" several times.
  • Mutual Envy: Both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn put each other on pedastals, thinking the other the smartest person they know and wishing that they had the other's life.
  • Nobody Here But Us Birds: Tom and Huck use cat cries to signal each other.
  • Operation Jealousy: Tom and Becky do this on each other.
  • Parental Abandonment: Huck's dad skipped town and left him to live on the streets. Huck is fine with this—his only fear is that his dad will show up again. Which he does, in Huckleberry Finn.
  • Parental Substitute: Tom lives with his maternal aunt and her family after the death of his mother.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Tom and his friends on their pirate adventure.
    As Twain notes, "So they inwardly resolved that so long as they remained in the business, their piracies should not again be sullied with the crime of stealing."
  • Puppy Love: Tom and Becky
  • Relax-o-Vision: "Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene."
  • Stern Teacher: Mr. Dobbins. When it comes to Tom, whom he whips whenever he has a chance, he comes across as a Sadistic Teacher.
  • Taking the Heat: Becky takes a peek on Mr. Dobbins's book and rips it by accident. When Dobbins is interrogating the kids to find out who did it, Tom says he's the one and takes the Corporal Punishment. (Which also places him back in Becky's good graces after a fight between them.)
  • The Savage Indian: Injun Joe
  • The Tooth Hurts: Tom has a toothache and Aunt Polly decides the tooth has to come out. She ties one end of a string to the tooth and the other end to a bedpost, then frightens Tom with a hot coal. When Tom jerks away, the string yanks out the tooth.
  • Treasure Map: In the sense of cryptographic signs; when Injun Joe and his accomplice are discussing where to move the Murrel gang loot, Joe says "We'll take it to my den…. Number Two—under the cross." The boys spend a good part of the rest of the book trying to find it. They do.
  • Tsundere: Becky is a type A.

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alternative title(s): Tom Sawyer; The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer; Tom Sawyer
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