The Most Morally Complex Hero
On one level, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is just a tale of a few mischievous kids and their charismatic leader, Tom Sawyer, getting into trouble. On another level, it is the story of all the real damage that can result from seemingly innocent adventures. Tom Sawyer is at the center of this narrative. He cons Ben Rogers into washing the fence for him. He lets Potter go on trial for a murder that Tom knows Potter did not commit. Tom lies to his aunt many times. Worst of all, Tom allows the entire town to believe that he and his friends have drowned.
Yet he does eventually come clean to save Potter. He also has deep regrets about the pain he ends up causing. It is hard to pin Tom Sawyer down morally because he acts in ways that hurt others, but when he realizes the consequences of his actions he is often regretful.
It is a fair argument to say Tom Sawyer should be forgiven all his mistakes. After all, he is just a child. He seems to understand that the things he has done hurt people, and he regrets them. Tom even goes to lengths to make the people he has hurt feel better. However, it would be difficult to argue that Tom would not make many of the same choices all over again. After Tom and Becky nearly died in a cave, Tom still brings Huck back to that same cave to find gold. While he presumably knew where he was going that time, the danger still remained. Tom caused immense grief and sadness for his Aunt Polly when he allowed her to believe his friends and him were dead. He even went so far as to come back to his house to spy on Aunt Polly grieving for him without ever revealing himself because it would have, “ruined the surprise.” There is sincere regret for each of these actions, yet they still occur many times.
The question remains for Tom Sawyer. Maybe Tom would not be so morally complex if he were an adult. He would be cast as manipulative, selfish, and callous. His youth muddies up the discussion. Yet, there has to be a point at which the moral immunity of his youth wears off. What Tom Sawyer’s character makes so difficult is where that point is.
Essays on literature are one of the most commonly assigned papers among college and university students. We posted this literary analysis essay example analysing one of the most morally complex heroes. Our writer selected Tom Sawyer to speak about in his/her essay. In case you need another character to analyze for your literature class, you are welcome to ask our experts to help you. Just tell your topic and your paper will be delivered as soon as you need it.