The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Discuss Twain’s portrayal of the town’s authority figures, especially Judge Thatcher, Mr. Dobbins, and the minister.

about the autorities

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Judge Thatcher

Becky's father. A proud and well-respected man of justice, whose family has recently moved into town.

Mr. Dobbins

The schoolmaster. Hated by all the children, Mr. Dobbins is depicted as a stern and pathetic man who uses lashings as a method of discipline. He is actually a satire on the ignorance and cruelty of small-town schoolteachers.

The minister (Sprague) is tough, pious, and rather judgmental. He also shows irony when Tom, Joe, and Huck surprise him. In Chapter 17, the funeral held for the three becomes a celebration, as they're not dead after all. Although he'd always considered Tom, Joe, and Huck troublemakers, his eulogy describes them as sweet, generous, noble, and beautiful.