The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Critical Essay by Cynthia Griffin Wolff

This literature criticism consists of approximately 20 pages of analysis & critique of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
This section contains 5,745 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cynthia Griffin Wolff

Critical Essay by Cynthia Griffin Wolff

SOURCE: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: A Nightmare Vision of American Boyhood," in The Massachusetts Review, Vol. XXI, No. 4, Winter, 1980, pp. 637-52.

Wolff is an American educator and critic. In the following essay, she asserts that Tom Sawyer is a protest against the female-dominated moral code of Twain's day and the lack of suitable masculine role models for boys.

Twain's second book of boyhood has more or less cornered one segment of the American Dream. Read with admiration (read during the long years when Moby Dick was relegated to obscurity), it captured both our lofty goals and our tragic weaknesses; and if it is not "the" American epic, it has epic dimensions. By comparison, its predecessor seems unworthy of serious attention (a "comic idyll of boyhood," says Leo Marx dismissively, on his way to a lengthy analysis of...

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This section contains 5,745 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cynthia Griffin Wolff