The Aunt Polly and Mrs. Thatcher and tried

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri by the Mississippi River during the mid-1840s.  Although the time period is not explicitly mentioned in the book, the readers can still infer that it is during the 1840’s where slaves were widely common in almost every house in the village. In the small village, everybody knew each other and adults worked together to discipline their children by forcing them to go to school and memorize Bible verses because, for them, a good image is necessary to have a good life. Twain believes that hypocrisy is one of the evil natures of man, just like the adults in the village who would rather pretend to be someone else than actually become one. On the other hand, Twain also shows the natural goodness of man when the villagers worked together to help search for Tom and Becky when they were lost in a cave. “Before the horror was half an hour old two hundred men were pouring down the high road and river towards the cave… Many women visited Aunt Polly and Mrs. Thatcher and tried to comfort them. They cried with them too…” The story’s town, which is based upon Mark Twain’s boyhood home of Hannibal, Missouri, is very important to the novel because it is the ideal town for a boy to grow up in and is the perfect setting in which to make fun of adult society with all of its customs and rules. The Mississippi River was a place where travelers embarked and disembarked to ride steamboats along the river. The access to the river makes the characters in the book eager to go on adventures, as does the town’s proximity to the unsettled west. In the book, the town also has features in which Tom and Huck Finn have their adventures, including the graveyard where they see Injun Joe murder Dr. Robinson. Twain’s setting on the Mississippi River is essential in formulating the tone of the novel. The story is narrated by an adult who views the adult world critically and looks back nostalgically on the sentiments and pastimes of childhood.  While Twain did not go into a lot of detail in describing the town itself, he created a setting that the reader could imagine and visualize which made the village a character by itself.  The narrator tells the story from a limited third person point of view, with a special insight into the workings of a young boy’s heart and mind.  The setting provides places in which the characters can have adventures and escape from the confines of school and home.