Samuel Langhorne Clemens better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel."
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp California where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, even being translated to classic Greek.
His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Category: Fiction - Young Adult, Fiction
Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid,. After playing hooky from school on Friday and dirtying his clothes in a fight, Tom is made to whitewash the fence as punishment all of the next day. He soon cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. He trades the treasures he got by tricking his friends into whitewashing the fence for tickets given out in Sunday school for memorizing Bible verses, which can be used to claim a Bible as a prize. He received enough tickets to be given the Bible. However, in response to a question to show off his knowledge, he incorrectly answers that the first disciples were David and Goliath.
Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town, and persuades her to get "engaged" by kissing him. But their romance collapses when she learns that Tom has been "engaged" previously, to a girl named Amy Lawrence. Shortly after being shunned by Becky, Tom accompanies Huckleberry Finn, to the graveyard at night to try out a "cure" for warts with a dead cat. At the graveyard, they witness the murder of Dr. Robinson by Injun Joe. Scared, Tom and Huck run away and swear not to tell anyone what they have seen. Injun Joe frames his companion, Muff Potter, a hapless drunk, for the crime. Potter is wrongfully arrested, whereby Tom's anxiety and guilt begin to grow.
Tom, Huck, and Tom's friend run away to an island . While enjoying their newfound freedom, the boys become aware that the community is sounding the river for their bodies. Tom sneaks back home one night to observe the commotion. After a brief moment of remorse at the suffering of his loved ones, Tom is struck by the idea of appearing at his funeral and
The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.
Perennially popular with readers, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has also been the continued object of study by literary critics since its publication.