Becky Thatcher

Becky Thatcher, the leading lady in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is the wealthy young love interest of Tom Sawyer. Becky is first introduced on the porch of her father Judge Thatcher's house. Placed on figurative pedestal, the porch of a large white house, Becky represents the unattainable aristocratic woman. Tom, who is not considered the "model boy" in town, uses an array of tactics, beginning with acrobatics, to court her - "He worshiped this new angel with a furtive eye, till he saw that she had discovered him; then he pretended he did not know she was present, and began to show off in all sorts of boyish ways in order to win her admiration"(20). During the first encounter, Becky essentially plays hard to get and walks back into the house, pretending not to notice him.

Later on, when they get to school, Tom tries once again to win her favor by using his skills as an artist and drawing a picture. The picture, consisting of just a house, succeeds in sparking further interest and gains her undivided attention. Becky asks him to add a picture of a man - "The artist erected a man in the front yard, that resembled a derrick. He could have stepped over the house; but the girl was not hypercritical; she was satisfied with with the monster, and whispered: 'It's a beautiful man - now make me coming along'"(55). Having successfully won her over with his artistic skills, skills obviously not finely tuned just yet, he proceeds to tell her he loves her and asks her to marry him - "Now its all done , Becky. And always after this, you know, you ain't ever to love anybody but me, and you ain't ever to marry anybody but me, never never and forever. Will you?"(61). After he receives her confirmation and goes on about the benefits of such an arrangement, he blunders and tells her about how he had a similar arrangement with another girl - Amy Lawrence. This infuriates Becky to the point of tears, where she slaps away a mock ring and refuses anymore attempts to assuage her. In return, Tom storms off to participate in some adventures.

Not being able to get Becky out of his mind, he gets worried about the fact that Becky had stopped coming to school. He starts loitering around her father's house and discovers that she was sick - "She was ill. What if she were to die! There was distraction in the thought. He no longer took interest in war, or even piracy. The charm of life was gone; there was nothing but dreariness left"(92). Becky's illness results in a reappraisal of his values.

In an effort to regain her attention, Tom once again tries "doing all the heroic things her can conceive of" which included "Goin' on like an Indian, yelling, laughing, chasing boys, jumping over the fence at the risk of life and limb, throwing hand springs, standing on his head"(97). Becky remains unimpressed, turns her nose in the air and snides,"Mf! some people think they're mighty smart - always showing off!"(97). In an heir of dignity, Becky teaches Tom that boyish tricks will not work and if he wants to win her, it will have to be with something more serious.

Tom finally wins over Becky's heart for good by, first, not telling on her for sneaking into the teachers desk and looking at the anatomy book and accidentally tearing one of its pages, and, second and most importantly, for taking the blame and getting whipped for it. In effect, Tom shows his support for Becky's dangerous interest in books.

Finally, Tom hopes to impress Becky with his treasure, "he had the good hopes of hearing Huck's "maow," and of having his treasure to astonish Becky and the pic-nickers with, next day; but he was disappointed"(203). If this quote is stretched a little, when Tom expresses his desire to impress Becky and the pic-nickers with his potential treasure, he reveals his capacity to provide for Becky and maintain her wealthy status.

The relationship is sealed once again in the cave when Tom presents Becky with the "wedding cake"(228). When the two are at their most vulnerable, Tom is allowed to save the day for Becky.... and they live happily ever after.

The correlations between Clemens's courtship of Olivia and Tom's courtship of Becky are astounding. Otherwise, aspects of all these real life figures can be seen some way or another in Becky.



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