Human Nature In Mark Twain's The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

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Wallace Stevens once said, “Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container,” Stevens was one of America’s most respected poet. Along with poetry he also enjoyed philosophy, he loved to mix reality with his creative imagination. In the quote above, Stevens is using metaphors to describe human nature. Human nature is a tricky thing and can be described in many different ways. Characters in a book often portray a better example of how humans tend to think like or act in differet situations. One of the themes that Mark Twain explores in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is human nature and how it can be easily manipulated. Three examples that support this theme are Tom and his relationship with his Aunt, Tom’s friendships and, the certain…show more content…
One evening, when Tom comes home late, his Aunt punishes him by making him whitewash the fence. As Tom starts, one of his friend passes by and tries to gloat. Tom sees this as an oppotunity. As the scene continues, Tom defends himself and tries to make his friend think that whitewashing a fence is an exclusive opportunity. “ ‘... Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?’ … ‘Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.’ … ‘ No-no- I reckon it wouldn’t hardly do,’ … ‘Oh, shucks, I’ll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say-I’ll give you the core of my apple.’ ‘Well, here-No, ben, now don’t. I’m afeard-’ ‘I’ll give you all of it!’ Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart.” (Twain 19) In this scene Thomas Sawyer, like many other kids his age doesn’t like to work. So when Tom’s friend Ben, comes over to brag, Tom uses his cleverness and Ben’s gullibilty to his advantage. Tom tries to make Ben think that whitewashing the fence is exceptional chance. Ben gives in because he thinks it would make him unique if he does it. In this example, Ben is manipulated by Tom, Twain shows that even in our everyday lives, human nature never…show more content…
Injun Joe was a character in the book who went great lengths to find treasure. The same treasure that Tom Sawyer and his best friend, Huckleberry Finn risked their lives for. After going through a ha’nted house and running aroung town chasing a murderer, the money was still not found. Then the realization hit Tom. “ ‘Huck, that money wasn’t ever in No.2!’ ‘What!’ Huck searched his comrade’s face keenly. ‘Tom, have you got on the track of that money again?’ ‘Huck, it’s in the cave!’ ” (Twain 193). In this passage, after all the incidents relating the treasure, Tom and Huck still want to find it. Even after, Injun Joe killed a man for the treasure and Tom and Huck were almost killed for it. The character’s greed has led them to make many wrong decisions, it is in the human nature to be greedy. Moreover, Twain shows that greed manipulates humans to make conclusions that affect other characters and that might not be a smart choice. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, was a book with many themes. One that stood out was how human nature can be manipulated. Tom Sawyer and other characters relationships and actions present us with several examples that support this theme. Human nature is tricky and shows us different aspects of life. But one characteristic that is really fascinating is how it can be easily influenced and taken advantage off. Mark Twain shows us all these distinct qualities as the plot

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