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Tom Sawyer Character Analysis

Tom Sawyer character analysis Free Essay

There is no American child either an adult who has never read or heard about the Adventures of Tom Sawyer throughout life. Being full of humor, joy, and suspense, it is one of the greatest best-loved novels. Mark Twain, who is the author of the novel, describes characters with wild ideas and funny antics that often help them to get into the troubles. This paper makes the analysis of the main character of the novel through presenting his features and respectful actions.

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Tom Sawyer

It is clearly seen from the title of Twain’s book that the central character of the novel is Tom Sawyer. Boy’s appearing in almost every scene proves his important role in the book. There is only one exception that describes Tom’s and Becky lost in McDougal’s Cave when the focus of the novel was to the search of Huck Finn for Injun Joe (Twain, 2006).

From the beginning of Twain’s story, Tom is presented as a naughty child, who begrudges Huck Finn’s lifestyle full of freedom and laziness. While reading the next pages, the reader can admit Tom’s moving from childhood concerns to a person able to make responsible decisions. Tom’s witness at Muff Potter’s trial, Becky’s saving from punishment as well as his brave navigation out of the cave; all these moments prove positive changes in his character (Twain, 2006). By the end of the book, Tom is a defender of responsibility and respectability. Growing up for him becomes mean a social custom and less freedom of childhood.

Age as Feature

A central feature to Tom Sawyer’s character is his age. The author intentionally did not note the boy’s age. As a result, for some readers, Tom’s age oscillates from one scene to another. Sometimes the boy shows the naivety of a little child, who has an interest in the superstitions. But, on the other hand, Tom’s fondness, a romantic interest in Becky as well as his passion to Huck’s drinking and smoking review his age at around twelve years old.

Mark Twain illustrates Tom’s character in a dynamic way. At first, Tom Sawyer got a great enjoyment in the most favorite boy’s games by playing “Indians and Chiefs” through pretending to be Robin Hood. Later, his actions require a high level of moral integrity. The good example of such changes in Tom’s character is seen in the following episode. Having a personal moral decision to break down the boy’s oath, Tom reveals Injun Joe’s guilt in Dr. Robinson’s murdering. This act has freed an innocent man by placing Tom in jeopardy (Twain, 2006).

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Maturing of Story

Considering Tom Sawyer’s experience as an interesting adventure story, it is necessary to suppose that Mark Twain illustrated Tom unpredictably by using many episodes from his author’s youth at different times. Hence, two variants of Tom’s character are presented to readers. One Tom, who plays pranks on his aunt Polly, teasing her, hooked a donut or an apple when the woman was not looking, and finding various ways to get around her. Another Tom has the manhood to save an innocent man and moreover, protect a frightened girl.

However, viewing Tom Sawyer through the spectrum of his maturing, where the main subject is the psychological, intellectual, and moral development of a young central character, it is difficult to see two types of Tom. The boy who grows as a young man through his personal experience is seen well while reading the novels page by page.


In conclusion, Mark Twain’s popular novel about Tom Sawyer’s adventures illustrates a joyful boy with a dynamic character who can spontaneous return to his boyish pranks. On the other hand, he became able to make his highly moral decisions and commitments that he did in regard to Injun Joe and Becky.

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