Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Adventures Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer is a mischievous boy, who is constantly searching for adventures. He often runs off with his friend Huck Finn to dig for treasure, visit the graveyard, become pirates, and many more exploits. Their actions often make them privy to dangerous information. They see a man murdered, see someone bury treasure, and hear threats against prominent citizens. Will they survive themselves?

Some of Tom's adventures are a little far fetched, but would have been any child's dream. Who wouldn't want to play at pirates and go swimming instead of being in school or church? I would have loved to persuade my friends to pay me, to finish my chores. We might all be tempted to hear what people had to say about us at our funeral.

Reasons Tom Sawyer has been banned:
  • racist comments
  • racial stereotypes
  • Tom Sawyer's questionable moral conduct

There are some racist comments and stereotypes in the book. These are an unfortunate reflection of society at the time the book was written, and of where the story takes place. Hopefully, this could be used to help readers understand why such comments are inappropriate, hurtful, and untrue. Banning the book, or editing those comments out, only allows us to pretend this never happened, which does not help anyone. Also, Mark Twain was actually an advocate for many minority groups, and was said to have acknowledged how his views changed as he got older and traveled, as most people's do. 

I thought it a harmless book. Some of Tom's adventures made me smile. I haven't read this book for many years. I remember liking it a lot. Perhaps, it is better suited to an audience Tom's age though. I can laugh at the terror and bravery Tom feels going into a graveyard at night, but would not feel the same about it as I would have at his age.

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