Course Hero Logo

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Study Guide

Mark Twain

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Study Guide." Course Hero. 17 May 2017. Web. 8 June 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, May 17). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Study Guide." May 17, 2017. Accessed June 8, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed June 8, 2023,

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Chapter 14 | Summary



Their next day on the island is as before. Tom studies an inchworm (which means he'll get a new set of clothes, according to superstition). Then they hear what they first think is a storm but then realize is the cannon, indicating that someone has died. Huck shares a trick for finding the dead. (Mercury in a loaf of bread will stop and float where a person has drowned.) The boys discuss why the trick works, and they lament not being on shore to find out who's drowned.

Tom realizes the cannon was for them; the villagers believe the boys have drowned. They enjoy the thought of their fame and the envy they expect others will feel over their adventure. Joe, however, asks what they think about going back. Tom rejects this, and Huck sides with him. Despite this, when Joe and Huck are asleep, Tom leaves the island.


Superstition and folk wisdom continue to figure prominently in the story. Insects and death are common features of the superstitions in the novel so far.

The differences between the three boys and their families also continue to become more evident. Joe, who has an intact family unit, is the first to consider returning at the realization that they are thought to be dead. Huck has no reason to leave or stay, but at this point, he's content. He sides with Tom when Tom argues against returning. Tom disregards his friends' thoughts and opinions. He also leaves the island—doing the very thing he argued against doing.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!