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He points out that Tom's unattractive behaviour--his obsessive quest for glory, his callousness and 27 i n s e n s i t i v i t y — a r e "central to the book. In addition, Scholom J. Peters-burg, his problems became "tangled with the complex web of associations represented by Tom and Huck," perhaps contributing to i t s r e l a t i v e l y quick abandonment i n favour of a work set far 2 8 away i n Austria. Kahn also comments on p a r a l l e l s between "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy" and the "Number 44" manuscripts, mentioning that both use the author's experience as a p r i n t e r — rare i n Twain's fiction--and one which he f e l t ambivalent 29 about.

F i n a l l y , the introduction and notes that Walter B l a i r and William M. For the most part these are descriptive rather than evaluative, though B l a i r o f fers c r i t i c a l comments on the s t o r i e s — e v e n though these comments are sometimes misleading. For example, he observes that "Jim i s given so small a role [in the "Indians" story] that one wonders why Mark Twain did not make the s l i g h t e f f o r t needed to remove him from his 30 f i r s t e f f o r t , " forgetting that i t i s Jim's abduction not Peggy M i l l s ' that causes Tom Sawyer to pursue the Indians.

Within the context of a l l the l a t e r s t o r i e s , of course, there are a number of important themes. B l a i r also published many of the notes Twain made while working on these s t o r i e s , including f a i r l y extensive notebook entries for "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. In some cases, the notes correct misunderstandings that coloured several c r i t i c s ' comments on 32 Twain's l a t e r years. The meagreness of c r i t i c a l analysis of the unpublished works and the misunderstandings and errors i n what evaluations e x i s t , can perhaps be explained by the r e l a t i v e i n a c c e s s i b i l i t y of t h i s material at least before t h e i r pub-l i c a t i o n i n But even the two published works, Tom Sawyer Abroad and "Tom Sawyer, Detective," have been given 25 scant attention over the years.

The general assumption has been that they were i l l - c o n c e i v e d and h a s t i l y written attempts to cash i n the popularity of the two e a r l i e r novels and i n the case of the "Detective" story, on the popularity of detective f i c t i o n i n the 's during Twain's time of f i n a n c i a l stress. Cox or Henry Nash Smith did i n t h e i r books on Twain. However, Smith had remarked about a l l the l a t e r s t o r i e s involving the boys e a r l i e r , i n his a r t i c l e on "Images of Hannibal" where he says that they a l l "make the same demonstration.

Adam could not re-enter Paradise, and America i n the Gilded Age could not 37 brxng back i t s agrarian past. Tom Sawyer Abroad has received i t s f a i r share of praise, including DeVoto's comment i n the Introduction to the Portable Mark Twain that the story i s a "deliberate exploration of the p r o v i n c i a l mind and i t s prejudices, ignorances, 3 8 assumptions, wisdoms, cunning. Perhaps the most extended and sympathetic analysis of the work occurs, i n Stone's The Innocent Eye, where he c a l l s Tom Sawyer Abroad " i n some respects the most charming and poised of 41 a l l Mark Twain's works about childhood.

He regards i t as "an involved and 46 tedious t a l e " and "perhaps Twain's poorest short story. As well, Stone notes the difference between the portrayal of the Phelps plantation at the end of Huckleberry Finn and i t s characterization i n t h i s work, saying i t "has been transformed into a nightmarish feuding-ground Despite his detailed understanding of these works, and the valuable commentary he offers on them, Stone never mentions the questions of maturity and moral education i n these works, topics which I see as central to them.

Because of t h i s over-sight, these stories are for Stone flawed and lacking any kind of unity. He seems to have been unaware of the outline for Tom Sawyer, or assumed that Twain l o s t his professed i n -terest i n having his boy-hero mature. Without an understanding of t h i s development, as we s h a l l see, much of the importance of 28 these l a t e r stories i s missed. McKeithan might have made valuable c r i t i c a l evaluations as well as provide background information on Tom Sawyer Abroad and "Tom Sawyer, Detective," As i t i s , the book offers useful background material on the sources of the two novellas, but l i t t l e e l s e.

The "Detective" story i s also the subject of an essay by J. Bay gives a detailed account of the source for the novella, an novel by Scandinavian writer Steen B l i c h e r , The Minister of Veilby. Blicher's novel con-cerns a complicated murder and subsequent t r i a l i n Denmark i n Bay, l i k e McKeithan, makes no c r i t i c a l analysis of Twain 1s narrative.

Gerber's excellent Introduction and notes to the Iowa-C a l i f o r n i a volume of these stories included with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Gerber discusses, for example, Twain's o r i g i n a l plan to make Tom Sawyer Abroad only "the f i r s t i n a series of volumes i n which he would send Huck and Tom and Jim to various parts of the world. The information Gerber uses comes from published volumes of l e t t e r s for the most part, but they seem to have been overlooked by other c r i t i c s.

The c r i t i c a l perspective on these works adopted by Gerber, though, i s very s i m i l a r to the predominantly negative points of view of most previous c r i t i c s. P a r t i c u l a r l y useful might have been a discussion of p a r a l l e l s between the "Detect-ive" story and the l a t e r "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. Both come to the conclusion that maturity i s an im portant element of the novel. Even before H i l l , however, Barry A. Marks, i n "Mark Twain's Hymn of Praise" had made the same point. He says that the action of the book i s 54 e x p l i c i t l y a "process which issues i n Tom's maturation.

But even without knowing of the l a t e r works, a number of per-ceptive c r i t i c s arrived at provocative conclusions regarding Twain's attitude on t h i s point. For example, i n her essay, "Tom Sawyer, Delinquent" Diana T r i l l i n g points out the ambivalence with which Twain re-gards adulthood i n the novel. On the one hand, the character-i z a t i o n of adults i n Tom Sawyer i s almost uniformly negative on one l e v e l the "ignorant bu l l y " schoolmaster, the "pompous ass" Judge Thatcher, "the Sunday-school superintendent a pious 55 toady" ; yet on another l e v e l they are capable of remarkable "selflessness," such as i n t h e i r search for the l o s t children in the cave.

And, as T r i l l i n g emphasizes, t h i s involves "no word of reproach" against Tom once the children are found and the c r i s i s i s over. The adults follow a recognized and accepted code of behaviour, about which Twain seems c e r t a i n l y not con-demnatory, and "the r e s u l t i s Something of t h i s v i s i o n i s em-bodied i n the adults of St.

Petersburg-—at least i n Tom Sawyer. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the question of maturity becomes much more complex, of course, but c r i t i c s who notice the vast difference between Huck and Tom at the- end of the novel are suggesting something of the depth of maturity that the former has attained. For example, Thomas Arthur Gullason considers Tom the "real antagonist" of the book, and says e x p l i c i t l y that at the end "Tom remains the c h i l d of the f i r s t chapters" while i n contrast, Huck has become "the edu-5 8 cated, morally responsible person.

Huck's suggested f l i g h t from human involvement at the very end of the novel, though, complicates this question immensely. Even though many c r i t i c s regard i t as a very apt conclusion 6 0 T. E l i o t c a l l s i t "the only possible concluding sentence" 61 and Leo Marx regards i t as a breakthrough to "truth" , i t can hardly be regarded as evidence of maturity i n a conventional sense. A l i f e of endless, s o l i t a r y f l i g h t cannot be considered a morally responsible reply to the problems of society. In t h i s context, as Marks points out, the ending of Tom Sawyer i s far more mature, for i n the course of the novel "Tom moves to 32 an affirmation of s o c i a l convention i n the interests of that 6 2 highest form of joy which i s founded on other-love.

Perhaps because he recognized that i t i s only within the context of society that genuine moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y can be learned, Twain never again had Huck run o f f alone l i k e t h i s. He chose instead to d i r e c t the l a t e r s t o r i e s toward the idea of teaching a boy maturity within the context of conventional s o c i a l norms. The p o t e n t i a l dangers of remaining i n a state of arrested childhood can be seen best perhaps i n the context of Stone's perceptive comment about the ending of A Connecticut Yankee.

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He says that the massive, v i o l e n t destruction of the Battle of the Sand Belt reminds an adult "of nothing so much as a small 6 3 boy's revenge upon a grownup system that has frustrated him. Twain perhaps should be admired for discarding t h i s idea i n the l a t e r Huck and Tom s t o r i e s , i n -stead of being condemned for giving i n to convention.

Overlooking 33 the topic of maturity as an ongoing concern of Twain's, none of the c r i t i c s could see any kind of coherent pattern or con-s i s t e n t theme i n the s t o r i e s , and so for them these stories possess l i t t l e s i g n i f i c a n c e. Only within the l a s t few years, as part of the increasing scholarly i n t e r e s t i n a l l of Twain's l a t e r unpublished writings-—including the "Mysterious Stranger" manuscripts, the "Which was the Dream?

As Twain's l a t e r years have long been regarded as a time of great creative d i f f i c u l t y , a c r i t i c a l analysis of the l a t e r Huck and Tom works that shows them to possess undetected significance w i l l have great value i n providing a more accurate perception of his a b i l i t i e s and interests during t h i s time. Evidently Miss Howells had no understanding of what the story referred to i n the l e t t e r r e a l l y was.

Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, , p. Stone, J r.

Mark Twain - “The Glorious Whitewasher”

The idea was apparently to threaten Jim with en-slavement again and to have Huck wear blackface and substitute for him. In his Reign of Wonder, Tony Tanner makes exactly the same'mistake when he comments p. Tanner i s evidently unfamiliar with the "Conspiracy" story; otherwise he could hardly regard the idea of one of the boys being sold as a slave as "never explored. Prophet Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , , pp. Petersburg to Eseldorf," Texas Studies i n English, 37 , More recently, the immaturity of Tom has been discussed by Judith F e t t e r l y i n her a r t i c l e , "Disenchantment: Tom Sawyer i n Huckleberry Finn," PMLA, 87 , , where she claims that by the time Twain came to the end of the novel, he had "become disenchanted with his boy-hero" p.

Anna Mary Wells, i n a l e t t e r to the journal PMLA, 87 [] , , responded by arguing that by the end of the novel, " i t may be that Tom also has grown up. Cresset Press, , p. T r i l l i n g , and Huckleberry Finn," American Scholar, 22 , Stone, p. In t h i s chapter, I s h a l l trace the development of his use of c h i l d -characters i n his f i c t i o n , and give a chronological account of the writing of a l l the works involving Tom and.

Though children appear i n Twain's e a r l i e s t writings, his i n t e r e s t i n them at f i r s t was quite limited. As Albert E. Stone has pointed out, his e a r l i e s t use of children i n his writings was primarily as "instruments of s o c i a l criticism. These are s a t i r i c works, and i n fact the two " L i t t l e Boy" stories are deliberate inversions of the t r a d i t i o n a l children's f i c t i o n of the time, i n which virt u e i s rewarded and e v i l punished.

As Stone 8 points out, many of the episodes mentioned i n the l e t t e r re-appear i n the Huck and Tom s t o r i e s. These include a portrayal of Jimmy Finn as town drunkard, scenes of "undressing and play-ing Robin Hood i n our s h i r t - t a i l s , " "swimming above the s t i l l -house branch," "vagrant f i s h i n g excursions," the shooting by Owsley of Smarr, and several incidents that appear i n the l a s t stories about the boys, written almost t h i r t y years l a t e r , such as Sam Clemens purposely catching measles from W i l l "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy"— and Henry Beebe's "envied slaughter-house" "Schoolhouse H i l l " — 1 8 9 8.

For example, i n a l e t t e r of May, , he mentions only i n passing, "I have seen a fellow here [in Hawaii] that you and I knew i n Hannibal i n childhood—named Martin—he was a c a r p e n t e r. The importance of Livy Clemens i n Twain's creative use of his own past, i s perhaps best described by J u s t i n Kaplan: She i s a flesh-and-blood wife, but she i s also a guiding p r i n c i p l e , a symbolic figure he invests with i t s own power to select and p u r i f y.

She has become an i d e a l i z e d superego which frees him from the t a i n t of adolescent experiments and f r o n t i e r lawlessness and allows him to experience a productive tension between the s o c i a l order he has become a part of and the boyhood r e a l i t y he can never leave behind him.

H It i s out of the "productive tension" between these various forces that the Huck and Tom s t o r i e s were created. The f i r s t f r u i t of t h i s discovery by Twain of the creative p o s s i b i l i t i e s of his childhood may, i n fact, have come very shortly after his marriage, though there i s some uncertainty about the date.

The e a r l i e s t surviving work i n which can be seen a recognizable Tom Sawyer-like character i s a fragmentary story known now as the "Boy's Manuscript," which, according to Albert Bigelow Paine, may very well have been written "about 13 Despite i t s many flaws, t h i s work i s a c r u c i a l one i n the development of the world of Huck and Tom. DeVoto discusses i t at some length i n his essay, "The Phantasy of Boyhood,"- where 43 he sums i t up quite accurately: The sketch i s c e r t a i n l y the embryo of Tom Sawyer—but i t i s Tom Sawyer untouched by greatness, and Tom Sawyer without body-snatching and midnight murder, without Jackson's Island, without the cave, with-out Huck Finn.

In the "Manu-s c r i p t , " Amy Lawrence i s the g i r l for whom young B i l l y yearns; i n Tom Sawyer she i s the g i r l Tom abandons i n favour of Becky Thatcher. In addition, there are quite clear elements of autobio-graphy i n the fragment, in d i c a t i n g that Twain was consciously experimenting with the events of his own childhood as a source for i n t e r e s t i n g f i c t i o n. B i l l Bowen appears i n the story under his own name he becomes Joe Harper i n Tom Sawyer and there i s a detailed account of the b a t t l e of the t i c k i n the schoolroom which reappears i n chapter seven of Tom Sawyer to which Twain appends the footnote: "Every d e t a i l of the above incident i s 16 s t r i c t l y true, as I have excellent reason to remember.

Most of the story concerns the agonies of young B i l l y ' s tortured relationship with l i t t l e Amy Lawrence; at the end of the "Manuscript," B i l l y has broken o f f with Amy, evidently irrevocably, but he has found a new " g i r l that i s my 17 doom. As well, there i s a persistent i f gentle s a t i r e of c h i l d -hood's naivety i n the presentation of the rel a t i o n s h i p between Amy and B i l l y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the episode where they plan out their future l i f e together: "As soon as ever we grow up we'll be married, and I am to be a pirate and she'd to keep a 18 m i l l i n e r ' s shop.

Oh, i t i s splendid. The s a t i r e i n thi s story, i n which young B i l l y i s not only the instrument of humour but also the object of i t , re-f l e c t s an evident confusion i n the author's mind over exactly what his theme or target was, as well as over i t s intended audience—a problem that w i l l reappear with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. S t i l l , i n the "Manuscript," Twain made his f i r s t attempt at an extended account of a child's perception of the world and of his experiences i n i t. He uses, at least p a r t i a l l y , 45 a convincing presentation and genuinely attempts to convey the texture of a small boy's mind and feelings.

As well, i n i t s use of Twain's own childhood experiences, the story represents a major step i n the creative process that would lead to the Huck and Tom works. The next stage i n the development of the work of Huck and Tom may be considered that of The Gilded Age, the collaboration between Twain and his Hartford neighbour Charles Dudley Warner i n The book served to impress further upon Twain the creative fund of his childhood memories and the s a t i s f a c t i o n and p r a c t i c a l i t y of exploiting them.

The Gilded Age was written for an adult audience, for i t i s concerned primarily with the greed, corruption, and abuses of power in the society of the 's. However, i n i t Twain u t i l -izes childhood and i n fact draws heavily from his own family background, i n such d e t a i l s as the Tennessee land and the Hawkins family move to Missouri.

Laura Hawkins, the heroine, i s named after Twain's early sweetheart i n Hannibal, as he mentions i n 19 a l e t t e r to W i l l Bowen. Further, the work's most famous character, Colonel S e l l e r s , i s based on Twain's cousin, James 20 Lambton. Other p a r a l l e l s , as Frank Baldanza points out, i n -clude the p o r t r a i t of Judge Hawkins, "precisely the picture we have of [Twain's father] Judge Clemens i n the Autobiography" and "the splendid p o r t r a i t of Orion Clemens I t also introduces a number of major themes that w i l l reappear i n the l a t e r boy s t o r i e s.

There i s the boredom and banality of small-town l i f e , i n the presentation of the hamlet of Obedstown, Tennessee at the beginning of the novel. There i s unease at the corrupting 22 power of wealth, and there i s even an element of misanthropy, such as i n the description of the jurors at Laura Hawkins' t r i a l : "some had a look of animal cunning, while the most were only stupid.

The entire panel formed that boasted heritage 23 commonly described as the 'bulwark of our l i b e r t i e s. In The Gilded Age, the r e a l i s t i c and sympathetic portrayal of such characters as Uncle Dan'1 can be seen as the f i r s t f r u i t of t h i s new i n t e r e s t.


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It led i n to Twain's moving p o r t r a i t 47 of the slave Auntie Rachel i n "A True Story"; and ultimately his concern for slave characters would provide a s i g n i f i c a n t element of the Huck and Tom s t o r i e s. With The Gilded Age, then, Twain continued and i n t e n s i f i e d the necessary exploration both of the techniques of writing f i c t i o n and the uses of his own past as a source for stories that would lead to his masterpieces. The same intense creative forces i n Twain that gave b i r t h to the "Boy's Manuscript" and the childhood episodes of The Gilded Age were s t i l l operating when Twain began to write The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and these forces can a l l be seen f i r s t i n his "fountains of the great deep" l e t t e r to W i l l Bowen of February 6, According to DeVoto, Twain "began writing [Tom Sawyer] as we know i t i n or on the whole, the l a t t e r seems 24 25 the l i k e l i e r year ," and Jus t i n Kaplan concurs.

I t i s cer-t a i n that Twain had already written at least part of the novel by the end of the summer of , only a year after The Gilded Age, for a l e t t e r to Dr. John Brown proving t h i s i s dated Sept-2 6 ember 4 of that year. A c r u c i a l event occurred i n that summer of , one that affected a l l the l a t e r works about Huck and Tom. In fact, i t might be said to have provided the basis for Twain's continued i n t e r e s t i n and concern for Tom Sawyer for the next t h i r t y years. Two points immediately stand out to anyone f a m i l i a r with these s t o r i e s.

F i r s t , Twain wanted Tom Sawyer to grow up i n the course of the projected novel. Secondly, t h i s does not happen i n the course of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer—but as w i l l be discussed l a t e r on i n thi s disser-t a t i o n , Twain did not abandon t h i s central idea. According to Hamlin H i l l , Twain came extremely close to following t h i s plan i n the o r i g i n a l Tom Sawyer.

H i l l suggests that t h i s outline was written very early i n the composition of the work--"if not before he began the book, before he reached page of his manuscript.


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  • If Becky had been 'christened' when Twain wrote t h i s outline, i t seems l i k e l y that he would have used her name i n i t. As H i l l says, i f Twain had followed the outline, the book would have been " i n four parts, c l e a r l y pro gressing from boyhood to maturity and ending with Tom's return 2 8 to St.

    H i l l makes a very convincing case that Twain's o r i g i n a l intention here was to have Tom Sawyer f l e e from both St. Aware that a c r i t i c a l point i n the story was at 29 hand, he sprinkled the page with signs of his indecision. Petersburg, and concentrate only on the f i r s t point i n his outl i n e.

    H i l l concludes, perhaps prematurely, "Whether from expediency, indifference, or, most l i k e l y , the r e a l i z a t i o n that Tom Sawyer was not the boy to send o f f on the 'Battle of L i f e 31 i n many lands,' Twain decided not to s t a r t Tom's journeying. An exchange of l e t t e r s i n June and July of that year between Twain and William Dean 50 Howells i n d i c a t e s t h a t Twain was s t i l l undecided about where he wanted h i s s t o r y to go.

    This follows How-e l l s ' conception, as expressed i n his l e t t e r of July 3 and presumably i n the comments Howells made to Twain about the story p r i o r to the l a t t e r ' s June 21 l e t t e r. In fact, Howells' insistence on t h i s point may indicate that while working on i t i n the spring of , Twain had suddenly begun to regard i t as a book only about childhood, contrary to the outline, and that i t was only after t h i s exchange of l e t t e r s that he changed his mind again and considered carrying his hero into adulthood.

    Whether Twain changed his mind once or twice, however, we must notice the remarkable degree of ambivalence he f e l t about the book's scope and i t s intended audience. Understanding his ambivalence i s d i f f i c u l t , because i t i s not clear what kind of story either Howells or Twain regarded as suitable for a par-t i c u l a r audience. O r i g i n a l l y Twain may have f e l t that only a Bildungsroman, tracing a boy's growing into maturity would be of i n t e r e s t to an adult audience and planned his story i n on that basis.

    But he may have temporarily abandoned t h i s idea, for some unknown reason, by the spring of , deciding to write a book only about childhood for children. Then, after his conversations with Howells i n June, , he may have changed his mind once more, returning to his o r i g i n a l plan of carrying the boy through adulthood, a plot suitable once again for an adult audience. This would have prompted the exchange of 52 l e t t e r s at the end of June. Again for unknown reasons perhaps he suddenly did not wish to face bringing Tom to adulthood , he reverted to the childhood scope of the story.

    But perhaps too much has been read into t h i s remark. Twain may be saying not that Tom Sawyer would be a poor character to run through l i f e , but merely that he would be a poor character to develop thus i n the f i r s t per-son. Evidence to support t h i s idea comes from the fact that, as DeVoto has pointed out, o r i g i n a l l y the novel was written i n the f i r s t person as was the "Boy's Manuscript" , though Twain subsequently changed i t : the author "actually did begin to write the book i n the f i r s t person—the form established by [the "Manuscript"] endured that long.

    And a l l down the page the I of the narrative has been crossed out and 37 he has been substituted It was a wise change. I t i s surely the correct idea. Clemens and her mother and aunt—vindicating the degree of Twain's discomfort with i t. Howells r e p l i e d that he would "have that swearing 42 out i n an instant I t won't do for the children. A l l his previous works, afte r a l l , had been d i r e c t -ed at an adult audience. His comment about the book that would become Huckleberry Finn, that he would run the boy "on through l i f e , " supports the idea that he had not abandoned the o r i g i n a l 55 outline.

    If Hamlin H i l l ' s hypotheses about the abrupt change in plans for Tom Sawyer are correct, i t reinforces the point, for Huck's sudden f l i g h t down the r i v e r on the r a f t has obvious s i m i l a r i t i e s to what may have been Tom's plan to f l e e down the r i v e r from Jackson's Island with the townspeople believing he 44 i s dead, as H i l l points out after making elaborate prepar-ations and leaving his valuables with his friends.

    I t was less than two years l a t e r that Twain wrote the opening chapters of Huckleberry Finn and quite possibly his o r i g i n a l conception for Tom's "Battle of L i f e " may have been at the back of his mind as he wrote out the preparations that Huck made for h i s. Even i n the published novel, there are s t i l l indications that the idea of maturation and manhood was very close to the surface i n Twain's thinking about Tom. The "Conclusion" to the novel states quite e x p l i c i t l y that "the story could not go much 45 further without becoming the history of a man.

    Yet Twain continued to write further works about the boy— none of which mention anything more about a career i n law or the m i l i t a r y. A reason can be advanced to explain t h i s change i n focus. Twain may have r e a l i z e d a f t e r f i n i s h i n g Tom Sawyer that the problem of an individual's coming of age involved something far more complex than parental approbation and careful career plans.

    Paradoxically, evidence of such a r e a l i z a t i o n by Twain comes from the next work he wrote about the boys—the Adventures of Huckleberry F i n n — d e s p i t e the r e l a t i v e absence of Tom i n i t. Twain began writing Huckleberry Finn i n the summer of , almost as soon as he had finished with Tom Sawyer. There were many elements i n the e a r l i e r work that made continuing the story an easy decision.

    In fact, i n the published Conclusion to the novel, Twain had commented e x p l i c i t l y , "Some day i t may seem worthwhile to take up the story of the younger ones again and 49 see what sort of men and women they turned out to be. The opening of the new novel makes e x p l i c i t the connection to the e a r l i e r one: "You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' but 51 that a i n ' t no matter.

    Almost immediately—within a month, according to a l e t t e r 53 to Howells of August 9, —problems arose, and despite the quick and easy beginning, i t was not, of course, u n t i l seven years l a t e r that the work was completed. Much has been written on t h i s hiatus, most notably Walter B l a i r ' s Mark Twain and 54 55 Huckleberry Finn and DeVoto's essay Noon and Dark, to which the reader i s referred for extensive commentary on these prob-lems. What i s most noteworthy-—and paradoxical — from the point of view of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s the undisputed fa c t that the elements that make Huckleberry Finn a "masterpiece" are those contained i n the section of the novel i n which Tom Sawyer i s noticeably absent.

    As DeVoto says about the beginning, "the o r i g i n a l 'idea' for Huckleberry Finn was l i t t l e more than a con-tinuation of Tom Sawyer But there i s no dynamic purpose i n 58 t h i s scheme, no p a r t i c u l a r course of action which would make the core of a book. Tom Sawyer's Gang [the major p l o t element in the early chapters] proved to be pretty feeble s t u f f. Similar and more c r i t i c a l comments have been made quite j u s t i -f i a b l y about the ending of the novel, Tom's grand Evasion; and even a dedicated partisan of the boy must admit that there are times i n the book he becomes quite tiresome.

    Yet despite the creation of a masterpiece i n the account of Huck's journeying without Tom, despite the obvious success of the idiomatic f i r s t - p e r s o n narration by Huck, despite Twain's giving himself a b r i l l i a n t opening for a pote n t i a l sequel i n Huck's f i n a l comment i n the novel "I reckon I got to l i g h t out 57 for the T e r r i t o r y ahead of the r e s t " , Twain never allowed Huck to go o f f on his own again.

    A l l the subsequent s t o r i e s about the boys are focussed on Tom, and Huck merely acts as a narrative instrument for t e l l i n g each story. The appeal that Tom Sawyer had for Twain—even greater than that of Huck—was a complex one, summed up best perhaps by Stone when he says, "The boy's combination of imagination, s e l f -dramatization, and common sense was, after a l l , a part of Twain himself and could never be wholly derided. Indeed, he l i k e d Tom and. In the exploration of t h i s question es p e c i a l l y , the e v i l of slavery and the dehumanization of the black man were discovered to be of v i t a l importance.

    One of the major concerns of the "Indians" story can be seen as the need to give Tom a lesson i n moral education and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y — a v i t a l part of the process of becoming a man— through the agency of Jim, whom the boy had treated so callous-l y i n the l a s t ten chapters of Huckleberry Finn.

    Thus, the kidnapping of. Jim i s an important element i n the fragment. Tom wishes to pursue the Indians who did i t to f i n d Jim. He says e x p l i c i t l y , "I got Jim into t h i s scrape, and so of course I ain't going to turn back towards home t i l l I've got him out of 6 2 i t again. Unfortunately, for reasons which w i l l be discussed l a t e r , "Huck and Tom among the Indians" did not turn out to be a suitable vehicle for exploring the topic of Tom's maturation, and the story was abandoned within a few weeks after he started with less than nine chapters written.

    His f a i l u r e to complete thi s story, despite i t s many poten t i a l themes and plot develop-ments, may have contributed to Twain's evident abandonment of a l l things concerned with Tom and Huck for several years; be tween and there are no comments or notes about the boys i n any s u r v i v i n g l e t t e r s or notebooks. Curiously, the return of the boys i n the synopsis " f i f t y years l a t e r " would mean that they would be the same age, rough-l y , as that of Tom and Huck i n the l a t e r , lugubrious notes of 1 8 9 1 — a b o u t 6 0 , and the difference i n t h e i r fates shows quite markedly the difference i n Twain's feelings betwen 1 8 7 5 and 1 8 9 1.

    However, the author seems never to have even begun a story about the boys incorporating the mournful attitude of the 1 8 9 1 notes, and when, shortly afterwards, he began a sequel to Huckleberry Finn, i t shows no trace of t h i s despairing out-look. This sequel, which became the novella Tom Sawyer Abroad, was written i n the summer of 1 8 9 2 , and was f i r s t planned as part of a much vaster scheme. Gerber notes that Twain's o r i g i n a l intention "was to make i t the f i r s t i n a series of volumes i n which he would send Huck and Tom and Jim to various parts of the world.

    This must have caused some confusion or uncertainty i n the author's mind as to exactly which character he was focussing on. Before s e t t l i n g on the f i n a l t i t l e , Twain considered a number of d i f f e r e n t ones for the work: "Huck Finn i n A f r i c a , " "New Adventures of Huckle-berry Finn," "Huckleberry Finn Abroad," or "Huckleberry Finn 71 and Tom :Sawyer Abroad," A l l but the l a s t of these indicates that he f e l t his primary emphasis was on the narrator, Huck— at least while he was s t i l l writing; but by the end of the sum-mer of , he f i n a l l y decided on the t i t l e used i n publication, demonstrating that he had r e a l i z e d that the major focus of the story was on Tom.

    This would be the form for a l l the l a t e r works about the boys--"Tom Sawyer, Detective," "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy"--and i t provides additional evidence of how strong the hold was that Tom, rather than Huck, had on his imagination. There w i l l be mysterious murders i n the f i r s t chapter. Also, the outline of the story makes quite e x p l i c i t an element of Tom Sawyer's per-sonality that had only been implied i n e a r l i e r works.

    With his cleverness and imagination, he would be able to work out com-plex series of events and solve crimes quite e a s i l y , and there-fore could play the role of detective very naturally. He had already displayed something of t h i s a b i l i t y i n Tom Sawyer, i n tracking down Injun Joe; and i n the "Evasion" episode of Huckleberry Finn he had i n e f f e c t acted as a mirror image of a detective, planting clues such as anonymous notes to make i t seem as i f a great crime was about to be committed.

    In the "Mystery" story, however, Tom's penchant for deduction would form a major, i f not central, element of the p l o t. I t may, therefore, have been an a n t i c i p a t i o n of the l a t e r "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. I t was written very quickly i n January, , just after Twain heard the story of the Danish pastor, Soren Jensen Quist, evidently from Anna L i l l i e Greenough, wife 16 of a former Danish ambassador to the United States. This complex t a l e — w r i t t e n as the novel, The Minister of Veilby i n 69 by Steen Steenson B l i c h e r — o f disappearance, murder, re-venge, rejected love, somnambulism, and other elements, evid-ently appealed immediately and strongly to Twain's imagination, for just after hearing the story, he wrote to his f r i e n d H.

    Rogers that he considered i t "a f i r s t - r a t e subject for a book. I t kept me awake a l l night, and I began and completed i t i n my mind. Its appeal was so strong, i n fact, that he was able to complete the story i n three weeks, tra n s f e r r i n g quite straight-forwardly the Scandinavian plot to the Phelps plantation on the banks of the M i s s i s s i p p i. Some elements of the l o s t "Mystery" manuscript may, however, also have been included i n the l a t e r work.

    The ex-slave Jim was present i n the "Mystery" story see the l e t t e r of A p r i l 5, above. Although Jim does not appear i n "Detective," Gerber thinks that "Jim was i n the present story at one time" and that his presence was transferred from the "Mystery" fragment: A portion of the manuscript, pages , begins, "Our nigger Jim was with us. The passage The manuscript for the section i s ex-ceptionally clean only two changes i n words and the handwriting i s larger 70 and more free-flowing than usual.

    At the end of the passage the author's hand-writing abruptly reassumes i t s customary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s. Other elements may have come from the "Mystery" fragment, though, which would help explain some of the anomalies and com-p l e x i t i e s of the published work. Gerber thinks that "Possibly the male twins come from the o r i g i n a l story ["Mystery"]. Almost c e r t a i n l y the business of the diamonds does, for The Blicher story, of course, contains many elements that naturally would have appealed to Twain and which he would have 71 recognized as e a s i l y f i t t i n g into a Tom Sawyer n a r r a t i v e — p a r t i c u l a r l y one t o l d by Huck Finn.

    This i s e s p e c i a l l y evident when one considers that t h i s was the height of the Sherlock Holmes craze: "Twain must have been e s p e c i a l l y pleased to d i s -cover how e a s i l y Tom and Huck f i t into the famous roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. A l l he had to do was to make Tom even shrewder than he had been, and Huck even more of the 8 0 admiring straight man. In addition, there were i n i t such f a m i l i a r Twain devices as "a f a l s e deaf-mute, the fear of ghosts, swindles perpetrated on the innocent, murder, mistaken i d e n t i t i e s , and a dramatic 8 2 t r i a l.

    These same elements also resulted i n the generally poor regard i n which the story has been held. The i n c r e d i b l y com-plex plot , the s u p e r f i c i a l characters, the formulaic writing, a l l serve to make the work a very shallow one i n most c r i t i c s ' regard. Even Twain himself seems to have offered an oblique 72 c r i t i c i s m : "What a curious thing a 'detective' story i s. And was there ever one that the author needn't be ashamed of, except 84 'The Murders i n the Rue Morgue?

    Yet, as we s h a l l see i n ensuing chapters. The next work i n the series, however, unquestionably ex-plores adult issues. This i s "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy," and for Twain i t c l e a r l y represented a kind of culmination for a 73 number of issues that had been present from the very e a r l i e s t works about the boys, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Adven-tures of Huckleberry Finn. In fact, the seeds of the story may have been planted i n a notebook entry dating from the time of the completion of the l a t t e r novel. In , Twain made a note-book entry: " V i l l a i n s very scarce In Twain wrote "A Scrap of Curious History," concerning an a b o l i t i o n i s t i n Hannibal who helped a slave escape and was hanged for i t.

    Many of the d e t a i l s of thi s event "would recur in "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy"—the fearsome a b o l i t i o n i s t s ; the captured runaway slave; the secret society with i t s costumes, ceremonies, and warning posters; the pious pr i n t e r ; murder; and 8 9 communal excitement and confusion.

    Escaped that 90 night, washed himself, and helped hunt for himself under pay. The author began the work evidently i n the summer of 7, while i n Weggis, Switzer land, more than two years a f t e r completing the preceding story i n the sequence, "Tom Sawyer, Detective. Written aft e r a l l these d i s a s t e r s — a n d i n p a r t i c u l a r with a lessening of f i n a n c i a l pressures—"Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy" involves a deeper exploration of several profound themes than had been present i n any of the works from the early 's.

    Indeed, i t involved themes unexplored since the writing of "Huck and Tom among the Indians" almost f i f t e e n years e a r l i e r. The work i s c l o s e l y linked with the preceding story, "Tom Sawyer, Detective," and i n fact the events of that work provide much of the impulse for Tom's behaviour—and his r e t r i b u t i o n — i n t h i s one. Twain seems to have written about a t h i r d of the fragment by the end of the summer of , up through the creation of the "Conspiracy" portion of the narrative.

    At t h i s point, the author's i n t e r e s t may have been directed to a new and deeply fascinating project, "The Mysterious Stranger" story, an idea In , Twain had made a notebook entry, "What uncle 93 Satan said," and i n "was writing 'Letters to Satan' i n v i t i n g His Grace to 'make a pleasure tour through the world"; in June of that year, just before beginning the "Conspiracy" story, he jotted down an idea for a book: "Satan's boyhood— going around with the other boys and surprising them with 95 d e v i l i s h miracles. For the f i r s t version of the "Myster-ious Stranger" was evidently written i n the f a l l of and was set i n St.

    Petersburg and had Huck at least as one of the major 9 6 characters. But thi s version was almost immediately discarded as a viable narrative, and i t s nineteen manuscript pages were worked into the next version, "The Chronicle of Young Satan," which Twain worked on intermittently for the next three years. The "Chronicle" i s set i n ; a small town i n Austria i n — far removed, at least s u p e r f i c i a l l y , from the boyhood world of Twain's childhood.

    A year l a t e r , though, the author returned to the idea of setti n g the "Mysterious Stranger" story i n St. Petersburg, and in November, , wrote out a long notebook entry o u t l i n i n g the form of such a story, quite d i f f e r e n t from the e a r l i e r attempt: 76 Story of l i t t l e Satan, j r , who came to Petersburg Hannibal went to school was popular and greatly l i k e d by Huck and Tom who knew his secret.

    The others were jealous, and the g i r l s didn't l i k e him because he smelt of brimstone By and by he i s converted and becomes a methodist. As he does no more miracles, even his pals f a l l away and disbelieve i n him. This work, now known as "Schoolhouse H i l l , " has several i n t e r e s t i n g aspects, but on balance cannot be said to f i t more than remotely into the sequence of stories about the boys.

    I t i s the f i r s t surviving work involving Huck and Tom since the o r i g i n a l Adventures of Tom Sawyer that i s not written i n the f i r s t person; and afte r the f i r s t two chapters, Huck and Tom disappear completely'from the narrative. The focus of the work centres on Number 44, Satan's son, and to a lesser extent on Oliver Hotchkiss. Yet i n the b r i e f appearance of the two boys, and i n the omniscient author's comments about them and t h e i r fellows, the work provides a useful glimpse of Mark Twain's perception of them, now almost twenty-five years after t h e i r creation, a perception not f i l t e r e d through Huck Finn's consciousness.

    The omniscient narrator allows Twain more freedom to comment on his characters than would be possible i f Huck were the narrator. Tom announces he w i l l get married, and Huck r e p l i e s , "Only i f you get married I ' l l be more lonesomer than ever. You'll come and 99 l i v e with me. The relationship. Gibson c a l l s "inherent contradictions within the character of 44 and his projected actions. Twain's exten-sive notes for the story, though, contain a number of promising p l o t l i n e s that might have created entertaining f i c t i o n : Number 44 would f a l l i n love with the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor, he would transport Tom and Huck around the world reminding us perhaps of Tom Sawyer Abroad and even into H e l l i t s e l f.

    But the d i r e c t i o n "Schoolhouse H i l l " was taking by the si x t h chapter may have contributed to the story's abrupt abandon-ment. As i t i s written, the fragment increasingly becomes a philosophical t r a c t at the expense of f i c t i o n a l action and characterization, p a r t i c u l a r l y any action involving Huck and Tom, who completely disappear from the narrative by the end of the second chapter. In t h i s abandonment of the two boys, "Schoolhouse H i l l " resembles Twain's f i r s t attempt to write the "Mysterious Stranger" story, also set i n St.

    Its 19 pages were quickly abandoned and worked into the "Chronicle of Young Satan" narrative. William Macnaughton suggests another reason why "School-house H i l l " may have been so pr e c i p i t o u s l y abandoned afte r what William Gibson c a l l s "a moderately promising beginning. At t h i s point i n the narrative, there were many things 79 that held a great deal of promise; the town has been "de l i c i o u s l y frightened" by Tom's conspiracy, there i s the murder mystery, there i s the danger that the f a l s e l y accused Jim i s fac i n g — a n d the e f f e c t that t h i s has on Tom, there i s humour, s a t i r e , and a number of p o t e n t i a l l y rewarding plot complications that might have been developed, such as f l e e i n g with Jim to England"or "the' appearance' "of " " B u r r e l l ' s Gang" of 1 0 4 " ' cutthroats.

    Learn English Through Story : The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Level 1)

    But once again, the narrative seems to have been shelved, perhaps i n January, , evidently because, as Macnaughton suggests, Twain "was not ready to force his imagination" "in the'direction that any of these developments would have entailed. He seems to have returned from "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy" story to the "Chronicle of Young Satan" i n the spring of ,"'" and worked primarily on the l a t t e r story over the next year or two.

    I t was not u n t i l the spring of that his i n t e r e s t i n the boys seems to have been reawakened, and at t h i s point he began to work e x p l i c i t l y on an idea that had been present at least at the back of his mind ever since beginning work on the novel Tom Sawyer i n This idea concerned the return of the boys to St.

    Petersburg as adults; i t was f i r s t mentioned, of course, i n the outline. Then the motif was re-peated i n the b r i e f coda to the synopsis of the dramatization of that novel that Twain wrote i n the return of "General Sawyer" and "Bishop Finn" f i f t y years l a t e r. Later, a f t e r 80 the misfortunes of the 's and 90's, i t was mentioned i n his notes with the idea of Huck and Tom dying i n despair. Now Twain began to plan and write a new novel based on t h i s scenario. His i n t e r e s t may have been prompted by Twain's own return to Hannibal i n the spring of to receive an honorary degree from the University of Missouri.

    As quoted by B l a i r from the Ralls County Record, during t h i s v i s i t almost exactly f i f t y years aft e r he himself had l e f t the town, Twain "gave 'a very humorous and touchingly pathetic' speech, 'breaking down i n tears at i t s conclusion. G i r l s belong to Tom Sawyer's Gang, "kissing parties" are mentioned, and Twain reminds himself to "Name a l l the sweethearts There i s "even a suggestion that one g i r l , as Huck says, was a 'horlat.

    John went, hearing his father coming, for he had done something so shameful that he could never bring himself to confess to the boys what i t was; no one knew but the negro lad, John's father i s i n a fury, and accuses the lad, who doesn't deny i t ; John aghast when he sneaks home next day and learns i t. John i s speechless,—can't confess. The lad, very old, comes back i n '02 and he and John meet, with the others l e f t a l i v e. But what i s also noteworthy about t h i s plan i s that i t may represent a curious confusion i n Twain's mind between autobiography and f i c t i o n.

    John Briggs was one of his r e a l -l i f e boyhood friends and Twain v i s i t e d with him during his return to Hannibal i n , yet he i s to appear i n a narrative t o l d by Huck F i n n — a f i c t i o n a l character. It was possibly at t h i s time also that Twain wrote a 82 b r i e f fragment—perhaps a reminiscent note—about an incident from his childhood which might have appeared i n the " F i f t y Years After" story.

    I t concerns a g i r l who scares an old lady into "the sylum" by creeping up behind her with a mask and surprising her. This incident, based evidently on a r e a l event of Twain's childhood, i s mentioned i n a note about the planned novel, with added, melodramatic touches: "old lady now, s t i l l i n asylum—a bride then. What went with him? And s h a l l she be expecting him i n her faded b r i d a l robes and flowers? The i n t e r e s t created i n Twain i n the world of Huck and Tom i n may have also been s u f f i c i e n t for him to continue work on "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy" at t h i s time as well.

    I t was at t h i s point that he seems to have almost brought the story to a perhaps surprising conclusion, discarding a l l thoughts of the boys f l e e i n g with Jim to England. Instead, he concentrated on the idea of giving Tom Sawyer a badly needed lesson i n moral education, teaching him something about res-p o n s i b i l i t y , and thereby providing an appropriate conclusion to that long-wrestled with problem, that of Tom Sawyer's growing up. At least a portion of the " F i f t y Years After" story was written during the summer and early f a l l of , for William Dean Howells makes a provocative reference to i t i n a l e t t e r 83 to Twain of October 20, I have got Huck Finn safe, and w i l l keep i t t i l l I come down, or w i l l send i t by express, as you say.

    There i s a matchless chance. In , i n an autobiographical d i c t a t i o n , he stated that i n he had begun another Huck and Tom story "and carried i t as far as t h i r t y - e i g h t thousand words," but then had destroyed i t. So far, no manuscript of the " F i f t y Years After" story has been found. The question remains as to why Twain seems neither to have finished nor made any e f f o r t to publish either t h i s work or the somewhat e a r l i e r "Conspiracy" story, despite t h e i r evident l i t e r -ary worth.

    Howells, i n his memoir, My Mark Twain, refers to the " F i f t y Years After" narrative as "an admirable story. Perhaps the most notable i s the remarkable in t e n s i t y of i n t e r e s t that Twain displayed towards them over such a long period of time--more than t h i r t y years from the "Boy's Manu-s c r i p t " to the " F i f t y Years After" narrative and "Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. Yet through a l l these experiences, Huck and Tom and th e i r world remain remark-ably consistent as a source for creative f i c t i o n for Twain.

    Prominent also i n the Huck and Tom narratives over the years i s Twain's persistent i n t e r e s t i n not merely t e l l i n g the story of boys, but of somehow carrying his protagonists through to adulthood. This persistence r e f l e c t s the o r i g i n a l outline for the novel Tom Sawyer. A major point i n i t , the return of the boys to the v i l l a g e as adults, remained i n Twain's mind throughout the history of the Huck and Tom saga, f i n a l l y emerging i n the " F i f t y Years After" narrative.


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    From the SparkNotes Blog

    Hornberger, p.. There may, however, have been some confusion i n the minds of other segments of society. The book was banned i n the Concord, Mass. See Kaplan, p. B l a i r , Mark Twain's Hannibal, p. Mark Twain, Notebook 18, TS pp. Gerber, p. See also Bay, 77 Quoted in Gerber, p. Gibson, p. Twain's notes for thi s work are given i n Gibson, pp. Macnaughton, p.

    Mark Twain, Notebook 35, TS p. Twain's Hannibal, p. If Hamlin H i l l ' s comments on the novel are correct, t h i s decision was reached only after a great deal of doubt and hesitatio n on the author's part. The c r u c i a l moment evidently came during the Jackson's Island episode, when i t seems as i f "preparations were Petersburg and his companions 4 who were about to return there.

    Instead, he kept the locale of the book i n St. Petersburg, and kept Tom and his friends as boys. The end of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with i t s evasion of s o c i a l and emotional complexity, has added to the uncertainty about t h i s question. Close examination of the l a t e r works w i l l presently show that eventual maturity--the end and purpose of childhood— remained a concern of v i r t u a l l y a l l these s t o r i e s. This being so, i t c l e a r l y undermines the image of Mark Twain as "imprisoned i n boyhood," to use Bernard DeVoto 1s 5 phrase.

    In fact, i t might be more accurate as well as more just to describe Twain not as "imprisoned" with i t s pejorative connotations i n boyhood, but as extremely clever and s k i l f u l at using his boyhood experiences as a source for rewarding f i c t i o n. Always, though, the author concentrated on how these childhood experiences shaped the adult who would l a t e r emerge from them.

    Sign in. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience with both the original play. Story Adventure, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic. For those who know and love the story or are following along with an unabridged edition, however, this production is marred somewhat by what the publisher has chosen to leave out. The more descriptive chapters are shortened or expurgated entirely, which is understandable in the interest of editing time Adventure Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine.

    Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but not from an individual—he is a combination of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of architecture. While all three uncompleted works were posthumously published, only Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy has a complete plot, as Twain abandoned the other two works after finishing only a few chapters. The fictional character's name may have derived from a real-life Tom Sawyer with whom Twain was acquainted in San Francisco, California, while Twain was employed as a reporter at the San Francisco Call.

    The character himself is an amalgamation of three boys Twain knew while growing up. He lives with his half brother Sid, his cousin Mary, and his stern Aunt Polly in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri.

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    In addition, he has another aunt, Sally Phelps, who lives considerably farther down the Mississippi in the town of Pikesville. Tom is the son of Polly's dead sister. Hearts at Stake. Alyxandra Harvey. The Hunger Games Trilogy. Suzanne Collins. Allegiant Collector's Edition. Veronica Roth. The Hunger Games: Special Edition. The Martian. Andy Weir. To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee. The Great Gatsby. Scott Fitzgerald. Rick Riordan. City of Heavenly Fire. Cassandra Clare. The Hobbit. Twelve Years a Slave. Solomon Northup. Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune. Blood Feud. Out for Blood.

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