The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Consider the incident with the poodle and the pincher bug? Why did Tom release the pincher bug to begin with? Why did the bug and the poodle become such a spectacle for the congregation? What does the churchgoers’ interest tell you about their interes

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The antics between Tom, the dog, and the beetle provide comic relief to the church. What is most important, however, is the fact that the attendees pay more attention to the antics of the pinch-bug than they do to the speech given from the pulpit. When the church is "suffocating with suppressed laughter," Twain describes it as "unholy mirth." This dichotomy between the serious and the playful - the moral and the mischievous - parallels Tom's constant struggle between his need for adventure and his will to "be good."