The novel's hero, Tom is a badly behaved orphan with an attention-getting streak and a heart of gold. He's a clever trickster, leading the boys of the village in various adventures, and a dreamer with… (read full character analysis)
As the son of the town drunkard, Huck is virtually orphaned. He's looked down upon by the adults of St. Petersburg, but is deeply admired by the local boys for living as he wants to—not… (read full character analysis)
Tom develops a crush on Becky as the new blond in town, and the novel charts the development of their relationship into a mature affection for one another after much tit-for-tat pettiness. As the daughter… (read full character analysis)
The novel's villain. Injun Joe is an anti-social adult, motivated by revenge and ruthless in exacting it. He brings both realism and romanticism to the novel. On the one hand his behavior forces Tom and… (read full character analysis)
Becky's father and the county Judge, who is based in Constantinople. He is the most revered figure in St. Petersburg. He takes a fondness to Tom after he leads Becky out of the cave… (read full character analysis)
Tom's classroom nemesis, Alfred is a refined, slightly effeminate new boy in town, who runs home from fighting with Tom to his mother's protection. His spiteful nature is revealed when, after Becky flirts with him… (read full character analysis)
Also known as Mr. Jones, he lives with his sons near the widow Douglas, and Huck turns to him to save the widow from Injun Joe's revenge. Though the Welchman is a capable hunter… (read full character analysis)
The local teacher. Mr. Dobbins is a pompous disciplinarian with a vindictive nature. As a youth he dreamed of becoming a doctor, and keeps an anatomy book hidden in his desk. On Examination day, just… (read full character analysis)
The superintendent of the Sunday school. Despite being a religious man, he is prone to vanity, and rewards Tom a Bible he hasn't rightfully earned for the sake of looking good in front of Judge… (read full character analysis)
Tom's strict but warm-hearted caretaker. A spinster, Aunt Polly dotes on Tom like a mother, sparing him her harshest punishments more often than not. Tom repeatedly outwits her, yet she has the compassion to forgive him repeatedly, desiring that he love her like a mother.
Tom's younger brother, Sid is mean-spirited and ungenerous towards Tom but is generally successful at brown-nosing his elders.
Older than Tom and Sid, she also lives at Aunt Polly's house, and is perfectly behaved and kind throughout.
Tom's friend, and the first one he convinces to paint Aunt Polly's fence.
Tom's girlfriend before Becky.
A grave robber along with Injun Joe and Muff Potter. Because the doctor snubbed him while begging years ago, Injun Joe suddenly murders him.
The simple, drunk friend of Injun Joe who accompanies him to the graveyard only to be framed as Dr. Robinson's murderer. His sweet nature and gratitude to Tom and Huck for delivering presents to his jail cell eventually breaks down Tom's resolve to keep mum about Injun Joe's guilt.
Injun Joe's companion in the haunted house when they find the treasure. His body turns up drowned in the river after the Welchman chases them off the widow Douglas's property.
The widow Douglas
A wealthy, generous older woman who eventually takes Huck in after he saves her life by revealing Injun Joe's plan to get revenge on her for her deceased husband's having whipped him for vagrancy. As his guardian at the novel's end, she tries to civilize Huck.
Mrs. Sereny Harper
Joe Harper's mother, who mourns with Aunt Polly, Mary, and Sid when Tom, Joe, and Huck are thought to have drowned.
The sign-painters boy
His family boards Mr. Dobbins. For the schoolchildren's Examination day revenge, he paints the teacher's head gold in his sleep.
The local reverend.
Aunt Polly's slave.
The brother of Judge Thatcher.
The town sheriff.
The wife of Judge Thatcher and the mother of Becky Thatcher.
Joe Harper's mother.
A slave belonging to Ben Roger's family.
Joe Harper's sister.
The church minister who gives the eulogy for Tom, Huck, and Joe when the town believes the boys are dead. The minister's speech paints the boys in such a positive light that all the townspeople feel they misjudged the boys when they were alive.
The sign-painter's boy
The son of the town sign-painter. Mr. Dobbins rents a room from his family. He helps Tom and the other boys pull a prank by painting Mr. Dobbins' bald head gold while Dobbins is asleep.