Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer

Thomas "Tom" Sawyer is the title character of the Mark Twain novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). He appears in three other novels by Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), and Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896).

Sawyer also appears in at least three unfinished Twain works, Huck and Tom Among the Indians, Schoolhouse Hill, and Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. While all three uncompleted works were posthumously published, only Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy has a complete plot, as Twain abandoned the other two works after finishing only a few chapters.

The fictional character's name may have been derived from a jolly and flamboyant fireman named Tom Sawyer whom Twain was acquainted with in San Francisco, California, while Twain was employed as a reporter at the San Francisco Call. Twain used to listen to Sawyer tell stories of his youth, "Sam, he would listen to these pranks of mine with great interest and he'd occasionally take 'em down in his notebook. One day he says to me: ‘I am going to put you between the covers of a book some of these days, Tom.’ ‘Go ahead, Sam,’ I said, ‘but don’t disgrace my name.’" Twain himself said the character sprang from three people, later identified as: John B. Briggs (who died in 1907), William Bowen (who died in 1893) and Twain; however Twain later changed his story saying Sawyer was fully formed solely from his imagination, but as Robert Graysmith says, "The great appropriator liked to pretend his characters sprang fully grown from his fertile mind."

Read more about Tom Sawyer:  Character Description

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Famous quotes containing the words sawyer and/or tom:

    But that’s always the way; it don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no sense, and just goes for him anyway.... It takes up more room than all the rest of a person’s insides, and yet ain’t no good, nohow. Tom Sawyer thinks the same.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    Sir, there is more knowledge in a letter of Richardson’s, than in all Tom Jones.
    Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)