November 23, 2004

Tom Sawyer says "Do it by the book"

I know this entry is coming a little late, but still, its here. One thing i noticed that interested me throughout the book was Tom Sawyers stresses to do things by the book, and this, to me compares to a constant arguement about outside forces influencing kids.

There is a constant argument about outside forces influencing kids, violence in movies and video games has some convinced their kids will begin to like this as well. Its almost as if these things are saying, "Hey kids, its ok to beat the crap out of your neighbor, noone cares." Then, there are the people that argue the shows either don't influence them, or have positive effects. I think Huck Finn is a great example of books influencing kids, well, at least Tom Sawyer, in the fantasy sense. Tom Sawyer wants to do things exactly as he has heard them to be done. "I've seen it in books; and so of course that's what we've got to do...we've got to do it. Don't I tell you it's in the books? Do you want to go doing different from what's in the books and get things all muddled up?"(Twain/Clemens 7). Tom is pretty much saying if you don't do as told to, as expected to, its wrong. What could make him think that books are the higher up powers he must listen to? What makes children think television is the higher up they must listen to? And what causes them to listen to that rather than their parents. Maybe they see their parents as bad guys, i mean, Tom is an orphan pretty much, so he really doesn't have anything to look up to but what he does in his own free time. Usually, those of a bad background are those who are violent, they don't really have anyone to look up to either, but the "big" stars and athletes on television. Also, Tom is another example of this when he makes things difficult in the last chapters of the book because he wants to do it "right". "And theres Jim chained by one leg, with a ten-foot chain, to the leg of his bed;why, all you got to do is lift up the bedstead and slip off the chain." Is only one example, Jim could also get out the window, theres no watchman to be drugged, and many other instances where Tom insists on fabricating problems to have trouble getting a prisoner loose, so as to do it in a heroic way. And again, he mentions books. Understandably, its just a story, but, did Twain/Clemens realize this when he wrote the book? It was written long ago, just in the past couple of decades have people begun to argue over the violence issue, as violence is increasing in the world. Its almost as if Twain/Clemens was foreseeing the future, Tom is just another example of an influenced child.

Posted by Lori Rupert at November 23, 2004 05:54 PM
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