FOR ALL AGES

30+ Tom Sawyer Quotes From Mark Twain's Classic Adventure Tale

'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' is about a mischievous boy with a wildly creative mind.

Tom Sawyer is a character from Mark Twain's critically acclaimed book, 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer', he is a mischievous boy with a wildly creative mind.

Tom Sawyer hails from the town of St. Petersburg, alongside the Mississippi River, living with his stepbrother and aunt Polly. He loves going on fantastic adventures with his friends.

The adventure begins when Tom decides to skip school and go swimming with his friends. He gets into a fight with them and returns home in soiled clothes. Noticing his filthy condition, Aunt Polly punishes Tom by asking him to whitewash the fence the next day, Saturday, making it the worst sort of punishment for Tom. Bringing us to one of the most iconic parts in American literature, Tom uses reverse psychology on other children, making them pay him treasures in return for the 'opportunity' to whitewash the fence. With many famous lines, including the Tom Sawyer painting fence quote: "Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?", Sawyer's adventures alongside his close friend and partner, Huckleberry Finn, have become much loved by a whole nation.

Mark Twain's captivating take on humor, social constructs and parody make his phenomenal stories on Tom Sawyer much loved. Check out these quotes from Tom's adventures and if you're craving more, you can check out [Mark Twain quotes] and [Oliver Twist quotes].

Quotes From 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'

'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer' quotes will take you into his magical fantasy world.

1. "He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

2. "Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

3. "He was not the model boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though – and loathed him."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

4. "The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

5. "Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer' Quotes To Make You Laugh

Here are some of the best Tom Sawyer funny quotes, including the famous Tom Sawyer fence quote. Enjoy these funny quotes from 'Tom Sawyer.

6. "You only just tell a boy you won't ever have anybody but him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that's all. Anybody can do it."

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

7. "Ben Rogers: Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.

Tom Sawyer: No, no, I reckon it wouldn’t hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly’s awful particular about this fence – right here on the street, you know – but if it was the back fence I wouldn’t mind."

8. "Like it? Well I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

9. "Ah, if he could only die temporarily!"

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

10. "There was no getting around the stubborn fact that taking sweetmeats was only 'hooking' while taking bacon and hams and such valuables was plain simple stealing – and there was a command against that in the Bible."

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

Huckleberry Finn Quotes

These Huck Finn 'Tom Sawyer' quotes are enjoyable to read. Although Huckleberry Finn appears in 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer', most of these quotes are from the sequel by Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

11. "Human beings can be awful cruel to one another."

-Huckleberry Finn, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

12. "I begun to think how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix. I says to myself, there ain’t no telling but I might come to be a murderer myself, yet, and then how would I like it?"

-Huckleberry Finn, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

13. "Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better."

-Huckleberry Finn, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

14. "Tom Sawyer: Well, everybody does it that way, Huck."

Huck Finn: Tom, I am not everybody."

- 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

15. "Jim said that bees won’t sting idiots, but I didn’t believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn’t sting me."

-Huckleberry Finn, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

Tom Sawyer's adventures have become much loved by a whole nation.

Notable 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer' Quotes From Supporting Characters

Here's some lines from the book featuring the best of Aunt Polly quotes and Injun Joe quotes.

16. "I don't know why it is people eat so much more when they eat outdoors."

-Aunt Polly, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

17. "You don’t know me. Least you don’t know all about that thing. ’T ain’t robbery altogether—it’s revenge!"

-Injun Joe, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

18. "Well with those two it's hard to figure who's influencin' who. I think the time has come for some good old-fashioned un-influencin'."

-Aunt Polly, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

19. "Did you think I’d forget? The injun blood ain’t in me for nothing. And now I’ve got you, and you got to settle, you know!"

-Injun Joe, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

20. "What's the matter, boy? Ya ain't been yourself for days. Ya need some of the remedy?"

-Aunt Polly, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

Mark Twain And Tom Sawyer Famous Quotes With Deep Meanings

Here are some Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer quotes to get you thinking about life, society and purpose.

21. "I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing."

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

22. "They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest than President of the United States forever."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

23. "Now we’ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer's gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood."

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

24. "Homely truth is unpalatable."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

25. "Boys, I know who’s drownded. It's us."

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

26. "I acted mighty mean to–day, Becky, and I'm so sorry. I won't ever, ever do that way again, as long as ever I live – please make up, won't you?"

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

27. "Auntie, I wish I hadn't done it – but I didn't think."

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

28. "Work? Why, cert'nly it would work, like rats a-fighting. But it’s too blame' simple; there ain't nothing to it. What's the good of a plan that ain’t no more trouble than that?"

-Tom Sawyer, 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn'.

29. "Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of this scene."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

30. "When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop – that is, with a marriage; but when he writes about juveniles, he must stop where he best can."

-Mark Twain, 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 30+ Tom Sawyer quotes, then why not take a look at [Jem Finch quotes], or [Treasure Island quotes] for more?

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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