Writing Techniques in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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The intent of the novel, Twain states, is to entertain "boys and girls" and to "pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves." In order to appeal to such a wide audience, Twain chooses a setting that permits both adventure and nostalgia. The story takes place in "the poor little shabby village of St. Petersburg," the fictional equivalent of Hannibal, the Mississippi River town where Twain spent his early years. In his preface the author dates the action at "thirty or forty years ago," between 1836 and 1846, the era of his own boyhood. Twain also notes that Huck Finn is "drawn from life," and Tom Sawyer is a lifelike, although composite, character based on a number of boys.

The setting supports the major action and themes of the work. Institutions such as the home, the school, and the church provide a social order that Tom disrupts with pranks. Jackson's...

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This section contains 268 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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