The binary introduced last week, Devil vs. Angel, was based around the characters Tom and Huck as devils and the model boys (Sid, Willie, etc..) as angels. However, this binary is put into question when we read chapter 23, where Tom is depicted as a hero for testifying against Injun Joe in court. Tom, despite having unruly and destructive tendencies, is inherently a good child. On the other hand, we see the hateful nature of the ideal Model Boy, Sid, as he tells on Tom to Aunt Polly stating, “Well, now, if I didn’t think you sewed his collar with white thread, but it’s black.” (p 8) Sid constantly annoys and tells on Tom and gets others in trouble.
The characters begin to mold into both parts of the binary as we begin to label Tom a devilish angel, while Sid is labeled an angelic devil. Tom shows that he is inherently good, despite all of his disruptive and unruly behavior. On the other hand, Sid shows that he has an innate cynicism, despite his love for church and respectable behavior.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. New York: Oxford UP, 1996. 8, 229-38. Print.