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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Study Guide

Mark Twain

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Chapter 15 | Summary



Tom's return is part of the adventure. He sneaks into his home and listens to his aunt, his cousin, and Joe's mother. Even Sid is upset. Tom leaves a note for Aunt Polly, kisses her in her sleep, and departs.

Back on the island, Tom finds that Huck and Joe are awake and discussing his absence. Tom sleeps, leaving the others to fish and explore.


Tom's double standards are obvious here. He argues against going back, but then he does that very thing. In context his motivation to do so appears to be the same as Joe's: He feels guilty and wants to check on his family. Despite this, Tom once again chooses adventure over his family's feelings. He acts as a callous child in both cases, placing his own interests above all else with his friends and his family. For all of Tom's love of high-stakes adventure and his traumatic encounter with murder, he still does not understand the seriousness of death and grief.

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