O. E Response: The Cat and the Pain-killer The Adventures of Tom Sawyer By Mark Twain

In the excerpt, “The Cat and the Pain-killer,” adapted from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, the main character Tom has his feelings changed throughout the course of the story. The cause of this gradual change is most probably due to Tom’s Aunt Polly constantly badgering him to consume unnecessary medications. The supporting evidence states that Aunt Polly supposed that he was addicted to the pain-killer, because he was asking for it in greater and greater quantities, proving that Tom, for one reason or another, was becoming obsessed with the drug. As portrayed in the passage, “She secretly watched with satisfaction as the contents of the bottle disappeared, but it did not occur to her that the boy was “curing” a crack in the sitting room floor with it.” From this quote we can all agree that Aunt Polly was oblivious to what the pain-killer was really being used for. Therefore, Tom’s quest to evade his Aunt’s quack treatments is what changed him in the end.

In addition, Aunt Polly’s quack medications had a psychological side effect: Making Tom forget about losing the support and allegiance of Becky Thatcher. After Becky abandoned their friendship to pursue more feministic activities, Tom began to mourn his loss. This more positive side effect of the abused medication worked by diverting Toms emotions and intelligence to work a plan to happily abandon his pain-killer consumption. Soon after, he devises a good plan (perhaps lined with flimsy reasoning, but good nonetheless) to use the drug to “cure a crack” in the sitting room floor. Throughout the course of this scheme, Tom begins to feel neglected and abused, so in one swift moment of cleverness and wit Tom decides to show his aunt his pain. The excerpt states, “Aunt Polly felt a sudden pang of guilt. What was cruelty to a cat might be cruelty to a boy.” The reader can understand that Aunt Polly realized her mistake and will rectify her wrongdoing. In conclusion, Aunt Polly learned that Tom is a person, and all people have feelings.