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How Does Personal Understanding Expand “Book Learning?”

Learning about life from books helps us to “get knowledge,” but our own life experiences and personal knowledge make our book-learning even more meaningful.

Take Tom Sawyer, for example, as he appears in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If we didn't know anything about Tom—because we'd never read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer—what can we learn about Tom from the second chapter of Huck Finn ?

What happens when Tom doesn't know the whole story—or the real meaning—about what he reads in books?  

When Tom tries to explain his position—but can't because he doesn't really understand what he's read—how does he handle what could become an embarrassing situation for him?

In your opinion, what is the best example of Tom Sawyer’s lack of ability to translate what he reads in books into what is possible in real life?

What is Mark Twain telling us when he has Huck—who isn’t really educated at all—effectively cross-examining Tom—his more-educated friend—to reveal the flaws in Tom’s understanding of the stories he reads?


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