Q:

What is the theme of Tom Sawyer?

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Quick Answer

One of the most evident themes present in "Tom Sawyer" is that of maturation and growing up. Tom, the main character of the novel, goes through a series of experiences that cause him to mature emotionally. Throughout the book, the reader watches Tom grow up, learn some difficult lessons, and realize more fully what it means to become an adult.

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Full Answer

"Tom Sawyer," written by Mark Twain in 1876, is considered the stereotypical American novel. It follows the story of a 12-year-old boy living in Missouri in the years leading up to the American civil war. One of the key themes treated by the novel is the maturation of the main character. There are many other themes discussed in the novel, including the hypocrisy of society, freedom through social exclusion and superstition.

Twain showcases the hypocrisy of society throughout the novel by criticizing many of the adult values and actions that take place within the text. This contrasts with the childish exploits that are the main focus of the book, further showing the difficulties children face whilst growing up. Race and financial success become highly relevant to the idea of social exclusion, offering an insightful narrative about the values of society immediately before the start of the American civil war. The idea of superstition is woven throughout the text, further solidifying the insecurities and fears inherent in the process of growing up.

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