AP English Summer Assignment
Novel: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
ISBN #: 0520235754
Prompt: A Central theme in Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is the idea that “We help ourselves the most when we help others”.
In the novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, one of the main ideas is that “We help ourselves the most when we help others”. This idea is reflected through out the novel and includes almost all the characters. The time setting of this novel is more than a century ago, and during those days people led a very simple and uninteresting life. Little things like an apple or sugar cube were considered to be a great treat to children. It was in these simple times that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn lived, but their dreams and ambitions weren’t as simple as most people around them. The one thing kids in those days wanted above everything else was person glory. It was the dream of every boy to be the center of attention, to be loved and admired by everyone in town. A child who did attain personal glory thought him or herself to be everyone else and was envied by every other child in town. And it was personal glory that Tom, Huck and Joe so desperately sought throughout the novel.
So coming back to the central theme, ‘We help ourselves the most when we help others’. The best help you can give a boy in those days, was to give them personal glory, to make them the center of attention. It was the dream of every boy, young or old. In many occasions throughout the novel, one of the boys helps someone in need and unknowingly acquires personal glory for themselves. And so, in helping someone else, they in turn help themselves.
The first example that backs up the main theme that ‘we help ourselves the most when we help others’ is when Tom gets back into Becky’s good graces after helping her out of a tough situation in school. Tom and Becky had gotten into a fight when Tom accidentally reveals...