A Children book which Adults enjoy
'For part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.' said Mark Twain in the preface of the book.
Mr. Twain had indeed succeeded in his ploy. The book stirred back memories of my own childhood, which seemed so ridiculous that I laughed at myself.
The book provides extensive coverage of the feelings and adventures of Tom, a boy whom all of us are familiar with.
He is the same little kid we used to be, before time forced us to grow up.
An orphan he lives with his aunt in a rather Utopian town of St.Petersburg, set in the banks of the Mississippi.
According to his aunt Polly, he is the best-hearted boy though a little mischievous.
He is a bosom pal of the lawless Huck who though dressed him rags is envied by every boy in St.Petersburg.
He is the hero of Becky Thatcher - his latest crush.
His adventures are endless.
And at the end of every adventure, Tom becomes the ’The hero of the town?.
Hero? Yes! Tom always ends up doing the right thing in the end.
’How could you be so noble?’
says Becky after Tom offers to get flogged for a mistake she commits.
It's quite evident that Mr. Twain had a great sense of humour.
The book had a fairy tale like ending with Tom rich and famous like he always wanted to be.
It would have been a little more fun had the book included the adolescence phase of Tom?s life. But Mr. Twain comes up with an explanation for this too.
'So endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a BOY, it must stop here; the story could not go much further without becoming the history of a MAN. When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop -- that is, with a marriage; but when he writes of juveniles, he must stop where he best can.'
But it is also fine that Tom will remain a mischievous little boy forever. The boy will help us keep the memory of the lost innocence of childhood alive within us (until one is blessed with a child as naughty as Tom).