Mark Twain’s classic story of a mischievous small-town boy, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has entertained readers for nearly 150 years. Though set in a bygone era, Tom’s desires for fun and freedom still resonate with young readers today. Twain’s witty prose and the story’s exciting climax help explain why this novel remains a staple in today’s classrooms.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Plot Diagram - Mark Twain
Tom Sawyer lives in St. Petersburg, Missouri with his Aunt Polly, cousin Mary, and brother Sid. Tom is a mischievous twelve-year-old with a vivid imagination. He routinely skips school and chores in favor of playing pirates, robbers, and other adventures with his friends.
During one of Tom’s midnight adventures with his friend Huck, the two witness Injun Joe murder Dr. Robinson. When they discover that Muff Potter has been arrested for the murder, they are too afraid to reveal the truth.
When Injun Joe disappears, Tom returns to his old ways. He and his friends run away to Jackson’s Island and return days later to attend their own funeral. Later, they spy Injun Joe in disguise with a secret treasure. Huck stays in town to watch Joe, while Tom goes on an outing with Becky to McDougal’s cave. He and Becky separate from the group and become lost in the cave.
In town, Huck overhears Injun Joe’s plans to kill the Widow Douglas and risks his neck to send help. Back in the cave, Tom is desperately looking for a way out of the cave when he spots Injun Joe in the cave.
Safe from Injun Joe, Widow Douglas takes in Huck and cares for him while he is sick. Tom and Becky escape from the cave, and Judge Thatcher seals it up, unwittingly trapping Injun Joe and causing his death by starvation.
Tom and Huck uncover Injun Joe’s treasure in the cave. Between their adventures, heroism, and newfound wealth, the two become a celebrated pair in St. Petersburg.