The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Study Guide

Mark Twain

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Course Hero, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed July 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Adventures-of-Tom-Sawyer/.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Chapter 34 | Summary

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Summary

When Tom and Huck go to wash and change, Sid is there to further worry them. They are already eager to flee, and Sid's revelation that the party will expose secrets only adds to their worry.

At the party, the Welchman reveals Huck's role in rescuing Widow Douglas. The boys learn that she intends to take Huck in and look after him. She adds that she'll help him get a start in business with what money she can spare. Tom stalls this grand gesture by announcing, "Huck don't need it. Huck's rich!" The adults are speechless, as is Huck, but Tom retrieves their treasure and pours it out before them.

Analysis

Much like appearing at their own funeral, Tom and Huck arrive at a gathering of people at the end of their adventure. This time, however, Huck is eager to escape. The party in their honor is the start of their inclusion in society. That inclusion is solidified when Tom brings the treasure into the room. Whether they are ill gotten gains or not, the treasure belongs to two veritable orphans. They've faced illness, death, and a murderer and returned victorious.

Now they are absorbed into society. The significant characters in their lives—other than the dead antagonist—are all present. The boyhood treasure is real, and with it they will be able to access aspects of society that would otherwise be denied them.

Huck's reasons for standing speechless for Tom's great reveal are not made clear in the novel. Was it a continuation of his urge to escape? Was it because of the widow's announcements? Or was it another example of Huck's worldliness? The money buys their way into a world that has not heretofore welcomed Huck, one the reader has seen readily judge the boy and others in less socially acceptable positions.

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