The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. It is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, inspired by Hannibal, Missouri, where Twain lived.
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Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother Sid. He skips school to swim and is made to whitewash the fence the next day as punishment. He cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work.
Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town, and persuades her to get "engaged" by kissing him. But their romance collapses when she learns Tom has been "engaged" previously to Amy Lawrence. Shortly after Becky shuns him, he accompanies Huckleberry Finn to the graveyard at night, where they witness a trio of body snatchers, Dr. Robinson, Muff Potter, and Injun Joe, getting into a fight.
Tom and Huck run away to an island. While enjoying their new-found freedom, they become aware that the community is sounding the river for their bodies. Tom sneaks back home one night to observe the commotion. After a brief moment of remorse at his loved ones' suffering, he is struck by the idea of appearing at his own funeral. Back in school, Tom gets himself back in Becky's favor after he nobly accepts the blame for a book she has ripped.
Summer arrives, and Tom and Huck go hunting for buried treasure in a haunted house. After venturing upstairs they hear a noise below. Peering through holes in the floor, they see Injun Joe disguised as a deaf-mute Spaniard; Injun Joe and his companion plan to bury some stolen treasure of their own. From their hiding spot, Tom and Huck wriggle with delight at the prospect of digging it up. Huck follows and overhears their plans to attack the Widow Douglas. By running to fetch help, Huck prevents the crime and becomes an anonymous hero.
In the meantime, Tom goes on a picnic to McDougal's Cave with Becky and their classmates. As Tom and Becky wander the extensive cave complex for the next few days, Becky gets extremely dehydrated and starved, so Tom's search for a way out gets even more determined. He accidentally encounters Injun Joe one day, but he is not seen by his nemesis. Eventually, he finds a way out, and they are joyfully welcomed back by their community. As a preventive measure, Judge Thatcher has McDougal's Cave sealed off, but this traps Injun Joe inside. When Tom hears of the sealing several days later and directs a posse to the cave, they find Injun Joe's corpse just inside the sealed entrance, starved to death.
A week later, having deduced from Injun Joe's presence at McDougal's Cave that the villain must have hidden the stolen gold inside, Tom takes Huck to the cave and they find the box of gold, the proceeds of which are invested for them. The Widow Douglas adopts Huck, and when he attempts to escape civilized life, Tom tricks him into thinking that he can join Tom's robber band if he returns to the widow. Reluctantly, he agrees and goes back to her.
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Sequels and other works featuring Tom Sawyer
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
- Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894)
- Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896)
Tom Sawyer, the story's title character, also appears in two other uncompleted sequels: Huck and Tom Among the Indians and Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. He is also a character in Twain's unfinished Schoolhouse Hill.
Adaptations and influences
Film and television
- Tom Sawyer (1917), directed by William Desmond Taylor, starring Jack Pickford as Tom
- Tom Sawyer (1930), directed by John Cromwell, starring Jackie Coogan as Tom
- Tom Sawyer (1936), Soviet Union version directed by Lazar Frenkel and Gleb Zatvornitsky
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), Technicolor film by the Selznick Studio, starring Tommy Kelly as Tom and directed by Norman Taurog; most notable is the cave sequence designed by William Cameron Menzies
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1960), BBC television series in 6 episodes starring Fred Smith as Tom and Janina Faye as Becky. The series' theme song was "John Gilbert is the Boat", sung by Peggy Seeger
- Les aventures de Tom Sawyer (1968), Romanian/French/German television miniseries directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, starring Roland Demongeot as Tom and Marc Di Napoli as Huck
- Aventurile lui Tom Sawyer (1968), Romanian movie directed by Mircea Albulescu.
- The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1968), a half-hour live-action/animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions
- Las Aventuras de Juliancito (1969), Mexican film
- Tom Sawyer (1973), musical adaptation by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, with Johnny Whitaker in the title role, Jeff East as Huck Finn, Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher, and Celeste Holm as Aunt Polly.
- Tom Sawyer (1973), TV movie version sponsored by Dr Pepper, starring Buddy Ebsen as Muff Potter and filmed in Upper Canada Village
- Páni kluci (1976), Czech movie directed by V?ra Plívová-?imková
- Huckleberry Finn and His Friends (1979), TV series
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1980), Japanese anime television series by Nippon Animation, part of the World Masterpiece Theater, aired in the United States on HBO
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (??????????? ???? ?????? ? ?????????? ?????), 1981 Soviet Union version directed by Stanislav Govorukhin
- Tom Sawyer (1984), Canadian claymation version produced by Hal Roach studios
- Tom and Huck (1995), starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Tom and Brad Renfro as Huck Finn
- Tom Sawyer (2000), animated adaptation featuring the characters as anthropomorphic animals instead of humans with an all-star voice cast, including country singers Rhett Akins, Mark Wills, Lee Ann Womack, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams Jr. as well as Betty White
- Thomas Sawyer, as a young adult, is a character in the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, portrayed by Shane West. Here, Tom is a U.S. Secret Service agent who joins the team's fight against Professor Moriarty.
- Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn (2014), starring Joel Courtney as Tom and Jake T. Austin as Huck.
- Band of Robbers, a 2015 American crime comedy film written and directed by the Nee Brothers
- In 1956, We're From Missouri, a musical adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, with book, music, and lyrics by Tom Boyd, was presented by the students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
- In 1960, Tom Boyd's musical version (re-titled Tom Sawyer) was presented professionally at Theatre Royal Stratford East in London, England, and in 1961 toured provincial theatres in England.
- In 2001, the musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Ken Ludwig and Don Schlitz, debuted on Broadway.
- In 2015, the Mark Twain House and Museum selected 17-year-old Noah Altshuler (writer of Making the Move), as Mark Twain Playwright in Residence, to create a modern, meta-fictional adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for regional and commercial production.
Tom Sawyer: A Ballet in Three Acts premiered on October 14, 2011, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. The score was by composer Maury Yeston, with choreography by William Whitener, artistic director of the Kansas City Ballet. A review in The New York Times observed: "It's quite likely that this is the first all-new, entirely American three-act ballet: it is based on an American literary classic, has an original score by an American composer and was given its premiere by an American choreographer and company. ... Both the score and the choreography are energetic, robust, warm, deliberately naïve (both ornery and innocent), in ways right for Twain."
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, an action-platformer for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released by SeTa in February 1989 in Japan and August that same year in the North America.
- Square's Tom Sawyer, a role-playing video game produced by Square. It was released in March 1989 for Japan on the Famicom.
On November 30, 2011, to celebrate Twain's 176th birthday, the Google Doodle was a scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
According to an October 2012 article published in Smithsonian magazine, Twain named his fictional character after a San Francisco fireman whom he met in June 1863. The real Tom Sawyer was a local hero, famous for rescuing 90 passengers after a shipwreck. The two remained friendly during Twain's three-year stay in San Francisco, often drinking and gambling together.
Canadian rock band Rush published a song in 1981, which is inspired by the book.
Source of the article : Wikipedia