The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer Goes Too Far

Even though Tom Sawyer is just a young boy in the chapter "Here a Captive Heart Busted," his actions cross the boundary of child's play and enter into the boundaries of wrongdoing. This comical, yet tedious chapter in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn gives insight into a main point of the novel, that Jim is a human being just like the whites and deserves to be treated like one. At this pre-Civil war time, most people conceive slaves to be sub-human, or half-human, which allows them clear consciences to sell and use them for labor. Needless to say, slaves were not allowed to escape. Runaway slaves like Jim were not sympathized as humans claiming freedom, but chastised for stealing property from their masters. Twain challenges us in this view, and uses the simple hearted Huck Finn to recognize human characteristics in him like love, kindness, and loyalty. After many chapters of this metamorphosis in Huck's mind, Tom Sawyer enters the story. The way he treats Jim stands in sharp contrast to Huck's way, and his absurd demands cause the reader to become exasperated. An evaluation of specific details leads us into a better understanding of Twain's racial beliefs.

In the "Captive...

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