Christened as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835 in the small river town of Florida, Missouri. He was an internationally known American humorist and satirist. Twain began to gain fame when his story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County” appeared in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. Twain’s first book, “The Innocents Abroad,” was published in 1869, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” in 1876, and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in 1885.
He wrote 28 books and numerous short stories, letters and sketches. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is considered one of the greatest works of American literature partly because it reflects so perfectly the culture of mid-1800s America. On Monday morning, Tom is very unhappy. The weekend is over, and he is feeling daunted by the prospect of a whole week of sitting still. He lies in bed thinking that it would be nice to stay home sick. He tries to convince himself he has colic, but it does not work.
He feels hopeful about the pain from a loose tooth, but then he realizes that Aunt Polly will pull it out if he complains. Eventually he remembers that he has a sore toe. This seems a likely excuse, and he begins to wail in pain. Though Monday always begins a new school week, Tom always tried a way to avoid this routine. Tom lies in bed clutching his toe and howling. He begs Sid not to tell Aunt Polly that he is unwell. This frightens Sid, who fetches Aunt Polly, who comes running to see what is wrong.
Tom complains: “O, auntie, my sore toe’s mortified! ” Aunt Polly sees through his act, and can’t help but laugh. Tom exaggerates his pain, and uses the wrong word to do so, making Aunt Polly to laugh. The interaction embodies their affection for one another, and though she should scold him, his ridiculousness entertains her. Tom tells her that his toe really had been hurting—even more than his tooth. She declares that the tooth should be removed. Tom is terrified, protesting that the tooth doesn’t hurt after all, and that he’ll go to school.
Aunt Polly proceeds to tie one end of a string to his bed-post and the other to his tooth. When she lunges at him with a flaming coal, he jumps away, and the string yanks out his tooth. If Tom had simply admitted that he was faking, rather than using his tooth as an excuse, he might have avoided the extreme pain of having it pulled. Aunt Polly’s efficiency at removing the tooth show how formidable and capable a woman she is, and Tom is lucky to have her looking after him.