Huckleberry Finn may be the greater book, but Tom Sawyer has always been more widely read. Moreover, it is a book that can be enjoyed equally by both children and adults. One of the most endearing characters in American fiction, Tom Sawyer would rather be having fun than going to school and church. This is always getting him into trouble, out of which he finds unusual solutions. One of the great scenes in this book has Tom persuading his friends to help him whitewash a fence by making them think that nothing could be finer than doing his punishment for playing hooky from school. Tom also is given up for dead and has the unusual experience of watching his own funeral and hearing what people really thought of him. Together with Huck Finn, Tom witnesses a murder, and the two have to decide how to handle the fact that they were not supposed to be there and their fear of retribution from the murderer, Injun Joe. Girls are a part of Tom's life, and Becky Thatcher and he have a remarkable adventure in a cave with Injun Joe. Tom stands for the freedom that the American frontier offered to everyone. His aunt Polly represents the civilizing influence of adults and towns. Twain sets up a rewarding novel that makes us rethink the advantages of both freedom and civilization.