Wu Ting
How would you interpret this sentence? A better day, the manuscript set aside awhile in favor of honest work, as Lev would call it. Painted the dining room, the wainscot between the battens, war surplus paint but a decent color, flannel gray. The neighbor kindly donated an old dining table she doesn’t use, and a son’s Saturday help for the painting. A regular Tom Sawyer. Paid him two bits, but suspect he’d rather have had the dead rat and string to swing it with. How would you interpret this sentence ‘A regular Tom Sawyer’, especially the ‘regular’ in the sentence? By the way, does the last sentence have any hidden meaning? Thanks!And how would you interpret the first sentence: in favor of honest work? Does it mean that he set the manuscript aside until he was in a better state?
Dec 3, 2014 8:02 AM
Answers · 5
This excerpt from "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" might help: http://www.pbs.org/marktwain/learnmore/writings_tom.html In summary, Tom is forced to paint his aunt's fence and isn't happy about it, but he makes it seem like its a very enjoyable task in order to get his friends to want to help. He's so successful at this that they trade things to him for an opportunity to paint a section of fence. A dead rat and a string to swing it with is something he gets in exchange for allowing another boy to paint. Lev paid the boy who helped him 25 cents, but thinks the boy would have preferred to have a dead rat and a string to swing it with in payment. As for the honest work part, Lev is facetiously saying that painting is honest work, or work that requires effort and that is valued, while working on his manuscript is not.
December 3, 2014
"A regular Tom Sawyer" refers to a book character from popular American Literature. Somebody who is a Tom Sawyer is lazy and gets other people to do work for them. Here, the neighbor is getting her son to paint for her. The last sentence is humourously saying the son would rather play with a dead rat than paint. Hope this helps :)
December 3, 2014
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Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English