Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

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Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain exposes many truths through this novel by satirising the adults and showing their pretentiousness. However when I relate this truth to the modern world I realise Twain wrote the novel ahead of his time. This second half of this novel would be better applied to the modern day.

Mark Twain uses satire to expose the truth about the adults; he tells us that they are pretentious, false and dishonest. He attacks the whole pretentiousness and artificial situation that they had created. We see that during a Sunday service in the local chapel the people are all sitting in their Sunday best and are pretending to pay the best attention to the minister. But Tom who is somewhat disinterested in the whole thing and yearns for freedom as he hates being locked up, takes out a pinch bug. He starts messing with this bug but then drops it. The minister’s poodle which was in the church suddenly catches an eye of the bug. He walks up and tries to somehow attack it. But he is unsuccessful in the most dramatic way with the pinch bug biting the dog and forcing it to run around in quite a wild fashion due to the extreme pain. The congregation have been watching since the dog first went to the bug, but now they are laughing and have drowned out the minister’s sermon. “By this time the whole church was red-faced and suffocating with suppressed laughter, and the sermon had come to a dead standstill.” So in a fit of bad temper the minister flung the howling dog out the open window and continued with his sermon. This shows how the people who should have been listening to the sermon were more interested in the pinch bug yet give the pretence that they were very religious people.

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Twain then goes on to show how the boys who live in St. Petersburg always try to ignore the adults and Tom tries to out-manoeuvre adult punishments. When Tom is punished for skipping school and tricking Aunt Polly into believing he went, he is made to white-wash the fence. Yet by the end of the day he has convinced all those who have walked past that white-washing is great and a privilege to do. Many of the people beg Tom and offer him items in return for allowing them to white-wash. This meant Tom only painted a few timbers while ...

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