One of Mark Twain’s most beloved works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a tribute to the innocent, safe and extraordinary adventures of childhood. The novel takes place in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River in an unspecified period. However, the reader can infer from the presence of black slaves in the houses that the story takes place in the 1830s or 1840s. In this small town where everyone knows everyone, where adults work together to educate and discipline children, is everyone as they seem? The novel perfectly captures the hypocrisy of human nature, selfishness, materialism and the small-town spirit of the American outback.
Twain realistically depicts the adventures of Tom and his friends, who are good-hearted but always up to mischief, while subverting the conventional image of the well-behaved and model child. Perhaps the secret of the work’s appeal for generations of readers of all ages lies in the fact that it reminds us how the child’s mind works, and in the priceless value of being suddenly transported from the adult world to childhood.