POV Analysis | The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Tom’s mind was made up now. He was gloomy and desperate. He was a forsaken, friendless boy, he said; nobody loved him; when they found out what they had driven him to, perhaps they would be sorry; he had tried to do right and get along, but they would not let him; since nothing would do them but to be rid of him, let it be so; and let them blame HIM for the consequences — why shouldn’t they? What right had the friendless to complain? Yes, they had forced him to it at last: he would lead a life of crime. There was no choice.” 

The novel is presented in the Third Person Point of View with the narrator being omniscient (all-knowing), offering editorial comments on or an objective report of the characters and situations. Hence, they usually can see into the minds and know the future of the characters. As a narrator, he cannot only see what his characters are seeing and thinking, but he is able to channel their personalities.

The story is told about Tom’s world and is particularly focused on him by a narrator who is able to understand the motivations and feelings of some of the characters making the readers understand it the same way. It allows the reader to feel similar to the character, to think like him, or to even hunt like him as this story brings back the childhood. It also lets the readers become more involved in Tom’s schemes and adventures, which usually lead him to end up in trouble. A reader is brought to experience the story along with the characters which grab the reader’s attention.

When Tom and Huck signed a blood pact, Tom enjoyed the idea thoroughly simply because it was “deep, dark, and awful,” as narrated in the novel. Therefore, the point of view also helps the readers understand the mindset behind their actions and the resulting emotions once they have been punished for them.

This point of view carries the advantage of earning the reader’s amused admiration of an unlikely hero and draws back an exciting and fun emotion within the hearts of the readers as they reminisce how they were when they were still children.

Life is completely a different world in the mind of a child. Fantasies are realities, fairy tales are history, the wealth of an item is determined through bartering for another, and the days of the week determine what is suitable to wear. These simple matters are charged into subjects of importance with the point of view. To Tom and his friends, the story of Robin Hood is similar in a sense, to the bible. Serious matters for adults seem to have no meaning to children. Tom did some mischievous acts and the use of point of view helps the readers see that this is a terrible crime.

Tom Sawyer’s tale could not be told as well as it is in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer without the help of Point of view. A reader wouldn’t be able to see the events of the book through the imaginative and romantic eyes of a boy, but rather through the logical mind of an adult. Without the point of view, readers could not be drawn into what Tom sees, feels, and hears, and through Tom, the thoughts of every child. The memory of Twain and his schoolmates is written in this book and he makes a point of trying to make the readers remember their own similar experiences, and what their own children are experiencing now. Twain wanted to remind people that children are not adults. They need to live and grow wild and free, much like Tom, and not be forced to grow up. After all, the innocence of a child only lasts for a while.