As the title of the novel suggests, Tom Sawyer is the central character of the novel. Tom appears in almost every scene as the chief character. The one major exception occurs when Tom and Becky are lost in McDougal's Cave and the focus of the novel switches to Huck Finn's search for Injun Joe.Central to Tom's character is his age. Twain deliberately did not specify his age. For many readers, Tom's age fluctuates from scene to scene. Most readers like to view Tom's age as approaching puberty--around eleven or twelve years old. If he were younger, he would not be so interested in Becky Thatcher. His fondness for Becky, while still marked by his youth (turning somersaults and otherwise acting foolish to get her attention, passing "love notes" back and forth in school, and so on), exhibits a caring and maturity that goes beyond only "puppy love." Consider, for example, his
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