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The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer Essay

797 words - 4 pages

The literary criticism I chose to read “Tom Sawyer's Games of Death”, by Harold Aspiz; the criticism is about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain. There are many death games and resurrection games in the novel. One example would be when Tom is playing with a tick at school. His best friend, Joe Haper, tries to tell him what to do with it, and Tom gets frustrated with him. “He's my tick and I'll do what I blame please with him, or die” (Twain 82). He taunts his friend with the thought of thier own death. Another example of a death game would be when Tom's classmates hold mock “inquests on dead cats” (Twain 108). Finally, the largest death game Tom and his friends play, would be when they fake their deaths, and attend their own funeral. Tom and his friends travel across the river to Jackson's Island. They stay here for a few days, and later arrive during their own funeral service. This would possibly be considered more of a resurrection kind of game; whereas the boys are thought to be dead, and arise from the dead.The fact that this “resurrection” of the boys happens on Easter Sunday, makes it all the more facinating.
The literary criticism helped me understand the book even more than I did while reading. The criticism focused mainly on the aspect of death in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. By explaining the different death situations, it gave more meaning to the book. On the surface, I did not think that it mentioned death as much as it does. Reading the criticism made me go back in the book and look for the word, “death” in the novel. When it showed up, I was surprised at how many times it was mentioned. I always thought of a child-like novel. First, when people were using figures of speech, their diologue caught my attention. For example, a character might loosely say, “Well, they'd just die to be here”(Twain 118). Again, while reading the novel before the literary criticism, I did not think much of this; though reading it now, it stands out to me more. Lastly, the criticism provided me deeper knowledge of how much death is mentioned in the novel. I now have a different perspective on the book.
Tom Sawyer is the novel's...

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