Looking at screen time and innocence with the classic novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Warning: SPOILERS (But really? Please read!).
Thanks for checking out this month’s vlog. I’ve included discussion questions below. For this vlog, and my bookshelf, I’ve used the Signet Classic of Penguin Group, 1997 paperback edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Vlog quote from page 57.
Happy weekend! -Ali
He was eating and apple, and giving a long, melodious whoop, at intervals, followed by a deep-toned ding-dong-ding, ding-dong-ding, for he was personating a steamboat.
Tom is constantly pretending and playing and imagining. We still see this in children, however, take into consideration that Tom is 12, putting him at about seventh grade. A lot of kids stop with pretending for fear of looking foolish. What do you think is possible when you pair intelligence with imagination? How can we find it when we’re too afraid to look silly?
He was from Constantinople, twelve miles away–so he had traveled, and seen the world[…]
Advances in travel have made the world more accessible. What used to take days or weeks of travel by foot or horse now take but hours. While we gain adventure possibilities in far reaches, do we lose anything? What is the substance of adventure? Do you think it’s more of a blessing or curse?
Mr. Walters fell to “showing off,” with all sorts of official bustlings and activities, giving orders, delivering judgements, discharging direction here, there, everywhere that he could find a target.
This is the first of a long paragraph demonstrating how different people “show off” in different ways in trying to impress a visitor. I’m interested in the wording here. What is the place of “showing off” today? Is it in irony? Subtly? Opting out? Has “showing off” gone out of style? Or is it hidden in plain sight?
The boys all hated him, he was so good.
This sentence struck me in its anachronism. Is this sentiment still found today, or is everyone caught up in being the “model boy”? What is the model boy? Is it appearances? Substance? Has the meaning transformed?
“Doodlebug, doodlebug, tell me what I want to know![…]”
In Tom Sawyer’s world, there are witches and pirates and knights. Today, there is slender man. All of these are sinister, but what makes one innocent, and the other insidious? Is the distance of time what makes the former more innocence? I’m fascinated by the difference. Yesterday’s kids are so much more innocent, but seemed to know to stop at “pretend.” Today’s kids are so much more worldly, but the line they cross is apparently a lot less clear to them. Why is that? Have kids stopped knowing how to pretend? What’s at stake beyond imagination?