Exploring the Language Usage in Mark Twain’s Novel “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”: Hegemonic Masculinity Analysis

  • Martina Girsang Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia
  • Elita Modesta Sembiring Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia
  • Veracy Silalahi Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia
  • Srisofian Sianturi HKBP Nomensen University, Medan, Indonesia
  • Linda Linda Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia
Keywords: Language usage, Hegemonic masculinity, Children’s novel, Gender studies, Values impact


The practice of legitimizing men’s dominance is known as hegemonic masculinity, and it is a concept that has often been explored through numerous adult novels, but rarely in children’s literature. To address this research gap, this study conducted a text analysis on the types of hegemonic masculinity depictions in Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, as one of the most read novels by young readers who attend schools with an international curriculum. The researchers used the descriptive qualitative method hand in hand with Connell and Messerschmidt’s theory of hegemonic masculinity. The result showed 3  types of hegemonic masculinity displayed in the novel include toxic masculinity, bad boy archetype, and dominant-submissive roles. These types can influence young to imitate bad role model, engage in bullying, and develop an unhealthy habit of hiding their feelings. Young readers may begin to see mischievous, manipulating, and aggressive behaviour as a common thing to do or even should be done to establish their place in society. Tom Sawyer is mandatory reading in the curriculum and is a classic that is unlikely to be taken off of the syllabus, so this study recommends teachers to make students become aware of the underlying ideas and values implicated in the novels. This study presented the implication for schools which assigned the reading of “Tom Sawyer” to address the reality of hegemonic masculinity in the novel to reduce the possible effect of its themes.


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Author Biographies

Martina Girsang, Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia

Martina Girsang is a senior lecturer from Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia with many years of experiences. She got her Master and Doctoral degree from Universitas Sumatera Utara. Her interest area is in Linguistics and English teaching.

Veracy Silalahi, Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia

Veracy Silalahi completed his undergraduate education at the Faculty of Letters at the Catholic University of St. Thomas North Sumatera, majoring in English Language and Literature in 1999 and completed his Master’s in Linguistics at the University of North Sumatera in 2007. Currently, she works as a lecturer a at the Indonesian Methodist University. 

Srisofian Sianturi, HKBP Nomensen University, Medan, Indonesia

Srisofian Sianturi is a postdoctoral student at the Universitas Sumatera Utara. She got her English Literature degree from Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia in 2009 and her master degree in Applied Linguistics from Universitas Negeri Medan in 2010. Currently she works as A as a lecturer at the Universitas HKBP Nomensen Medan.

Linda Linda, Methodist University of Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia

Linda is an early childhood education activists that has led her to involve in several humanity related projects such as anti bullying campaign, gender equality movements events, and free English course program for lower class family in many places. She obtained her bachelor degree in English literature in 2021 from The Methodist University of Indonesia. 


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How to Cite
Girsang, M., Sembiring, E. M., Silalahi, V., Sianturi, S., & Linda, L. (2022). Exploring the Language Usage in Mark Twain’s Novel “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”: Hegemonic Masculinity Analysis. REiLA : Journal of Research and Innovation in Language, 4(2), 197-208. https://doi.org/10.31849/reila.v4i2.9598
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