Term Paper: Tom Sawyer

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Tom Sawyer

The main character in Mark Twain's novel, the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, evolves through three stages of heroism: a play hero, a false hero and a real hero.

Initially, Tom is a "play hero" in the games he plays with his friends. During their play, Tom is always the one playing the hero part, who wins every time. He is a hero in the sense that plays or impersonates the heroes from his books, but also, because he is the leader of his friends, the one who reads the books and then leads the play. His friends recognize him as an authority, just as they recognize the books an authority, and thus, Tom imposes his own vision on the games they are playing: "I can't fall; that ain't the way it is in the book. The book says, 'Then with one back-handed stroke he slew poor Guy of Guisborne (...) " There was no getting around the authorities, so Joe turned, received the whack and fell. "(Twain, 79)

Tom is always the leader pirate or the general of the army he leads: "These two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person (...) but sat together on an eminence and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through aides-de-camp." (Twain, 22)

Later, Tom becomes a "false hero," as his need for attention pulls him into realistic role-playing. Thus, Tom buys from his schoolmates the colored tickets that the teacher gave as a prize for good recitation,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/tom-sawyer/3206473.