August 14, 2018

I finished reading Tom Sawyer last night. I'm really happy that at the end of the book they got the money. It rings true — Tom knew they could find treasure, they made a pact to do it, and they kept at it. It's like Twain is saying “pay attention, this is how it works.”

I loved the light-hearted cruelty in making fun of the girls’ essays and pulling the source material to laugh at from some woman's actual book (or that's what he claims happened, I haven't looked up the full story).

I laughed every time at the superstitions and magic that Tom and his friends practiced. And how they are quick to blame witches when something doesn't work.

It's a straightforward, well-told story about boys living fantasy lives as Robin Hood, pirates, and gentleman thieves, and reading the book facilitates the fantasy of living that life with them. I guess that's why I enjoyed it so much… like a million other men before me, I loved playing in the woods, flirting with girls, and somehow I always wound up in trouble, even though I was an innocent kid with only good intentions.

As unassuming as the book is, it still draws out some nostalgic feelings about boyhood, America, and the human condition. The whole story is filled with a compelling authenticity, even if it's just a dumb book about boys going on adventures.

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