Everyone has their own World

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"Put simply, Tom is a bad boy" (188).  Why is this the first time we've seen this statement?  Honestly, all these essays that have talked about Huck being the bad boy made so little sense to me, and I've already posted on that.  Reading Kevin Scott talk about how Tom is the bad boy just makes more sense.  He continues to provide examples of why we see Tom in this light.  "Tom transforms, through play, the reality he finds into the romance he prefers" (190).  What a way to look at Tom's outlandish ideas!  I didn't really consider anything past, he's just being a kid, until I came across this passage.  Tom makes it is goal to have an adventure, to create his own reality.  This contributes to his bad boy image because he will do whatever is necessary to have an adventure, include tormenting others (like Jim and Becky).  
His "rejection of the town's bad faith" (191) allows him to be the "rebel and thorn in the side of social order while actually being its representative" (191).  Tom's creating his own world represents society's attempts to create a world they prefer.  Tom just happens to get away with his fantasies because he is merely a boy!  Society cannot escape into their preferred world because then it would become a reality.  Tom rejects the society he has been raised in and substitutes his own.  While in his play world, he often "authors it" (191), meaning he makes it how he wants it and no one can stop him or change his mind.  Tom has "youthful versions of the bad faith mechanisms adults use in his community every day" (192).  Tom knows that adults will manipulate situations to their advantage, even if it is a small change.  To him, a small change is just as significant as a large change, so why not go all out?  This is what really allows Tom to live life the way he wants to, the way all the authorities do it (the books he has read).

We have discussed and argued how Huck sees Tom.  "Huck may doubt Tom's veracity... he admires Tom's style, his courage, his competence, and the internal consistency of his world... made Tom the picture of social success" (193).  There it is, the middle ground for the sides of the argument many of us have taken.  Huck sees Tom as a "picture of social success," this does not mean that he looks up to him.  In fact, one could argue that that is the reason Huck rejects Tom as a role model.  

2 Comments

Jennifer Prex said:

I found it odd that Huck was always the character pegged as the bad boy as well. Tom is the "sivilized" one, yet he causes more trouble than Huck ever does. Huck seems to mostly just do whatever he can to get out of the trouble he finds himself in. It's rare that he actually causes the trouble.

Gladys Mares said:

I totally agree. I always thought that since we saw Huck make that transformation into being aware of his feelings and those of other people, he was a good kid. However, Tom I always felt was a racist little punk. You mentioned the quote "Huck may doubt Tom's veracity... he admires Tom's style, his courage, his competence, and the internal consistency of his world... made Tom the picture of social success" (193). I went back and reread that and I think Huck can see how he and Tom are different and that Tom is not quite the best role model, as you put it. Good points :-)

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