Limited access

Upgrade to access all content for this subject

In Chapter 3 Tom Sawyer persuaded his band of robbers to attack a Sunday school picnic, convinced they would find diamonds, elephants and "A-rabs". When Huck confronted Tom and said he didn't see anything but scared little children and an angry teacher, Tom replied by telling Huck that if he, "warn't so ignorant, but had read a book called 'Don Quixote,'" he might known what Tom knew without asking about it.

Why does Mark Twain purposefully bring up one of the most romantic characters in all of literature at this point in the story of Huck and Tom?


Tom's superior knowledge of books give him the same air of authority over Huck as Don Quixote has over Sancho Panza. The big difference is Tom's adventures are all in his mind.


Huck and Tom are modern day decedents of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. The big difference is, at the end of the book, Tom does not have the truth about himself forced upon him in the same manner as Quixote does.


Like Don Quixote, Tom Sawyer is the best dressed, most wealthy, and most knowledgable member of the band of robbers, making Huck out to be Sancho Panza, the poorly-dressed, dull, and uncharismatic side-kick. The big difference is that Tom is actually as rich as Huck, since they split the gold from the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


Huck and Sancho Panza are easily swayed into following along with their respective leader's plans. The big difference is that in the end, Sancho Panza realizes that Quixote is a fool and should not be followed so mindlessly.


Tom's reference to Don Quixote is similar to Miss Watson's constant reference to the Bible. They are books that give the rules to how each believes life should be lived. The big difference is that Tom is able to convince Huck to follow his rules, while Miss Watson never convinces Huck to follow hers.

Select an assignment template