Grudgingly going through the motions of reading page after page of a book while pretending to be interested is not a pleasurable way to spend time. Reading a book with a weak plot, dull setting, and lifeless characters requires much effort. Unfortunately, many books are like this. Some books are not as difficult to read and enjoy, but only a tiny percentage of books deserve enough to wear the classification of “classic,” like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.
Finding out what makes a piece of literary work a “classic” is essential to fully understanding the significance of the books.
In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Twain successfully brings the story alive and makes it a pleasure to read. This book has gained the respect of people all over the world and earned itself this special distinction, because it contains the necessary substance.
These integral ingredients of a classic are the vivid descriptions of the physical aspects of the story – the characters and setting, an entertaining and eventful plot, and the lasting truths the story’s themes express. The most vivid memories of this story come from the striking descriptions of the physical aspects of the story. Mark Twain immediately brings the story to life with his introduction of the characters and their surroundings.
From here, the familiarity of the characters and setting continues to grow. The depictions of the characters, both in mannerisms and dialogue, are so picturesque that Tom’s superstitions and fantasies soon cause no great surprises, Aunt Polly’s religious sayings and hidden affection for her “mischeevous” Tom come to be expected, and Sid’s sly attacks on Tom appear deserving of Tom’s revenge.
The unique setting of St. Petersburg on the Mississippi River provides a suitable background for all of the characters’ adventures. With McDougal’s Cave’s “vast labyrinth of crooked aisles” nearby, the pirates’ hideaway island along with the old haunted house, Tom is situated in a setting worthy of his activities. The second needed portion of a classic is a captivating plot that appeals to people of all ages. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has no lack of this enchantment. Tom’s “giddy and harum-scarum” devilment, his romance with Becky Thatcher, and Aunt Polly’s masked feelings for Tom all provide for an especially entertaining and humorous sample of life on the Mississippi River in the 1800s. As the story progresses, despite the many changes of scenery, the reader relates comfortably with the characters, their personalities and the surroundings. Disguised in the events of the plot are the themes the author wishes to express. These themes in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are not explicitly stated, yet are strongly conveyed.
Tom Sawyer and his rowdy, unpredictable behavior appeals to the readers, showing the priceless need of a fun childhood. Twain’s entertaining stories also make a statement against strict and orderly living. Tom’s whitewashing experience is only one of the instances where Mark Twain helps transport his audience into Tom’s world of mischief and fun. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer reminds readers of their childhoods and urges them to never forget those cherished days. This timeless classic is guaranteed to leave every reader with a distinctly favorable impression. The legendary and stirring details in this classic cause much reflection on readers’ own youths. People easily relate to the unforgettable endeavors that Tom experiences in this story; they were once there themselves, living the innocent lives of children. In very few other places can someone find the humorous anecdotes and ever-lasting lessons of childhood.