Monday, January 18, 2010

Huckleberry Finn

After reading Huckleberry Finn I feel unsettled about the entire story. It was enjoyable and interesting to read about the “adventures” of Huck but there was a lot of hidden sarcasm in the entire story. The one theme that stuck out for me was racism. Of course in the time frame it was completely okay for a white family to own salves on their farm or in their households. As the story progressed though, it seems like the only decent person was Jim. At the end of the story he was the one who sacrificed himself to help Tom and was the one who shielded Huck from seeing his dead father. The other characters in the story that were seen as “good and nice” were in-fact, not. The Widow who Huck sees as a good person who prays and is going to the good place is still practicing in slavery. She doesn’t set Jim free until after she is dead instead of when she first felt bad for wanting to sell him. It’s like she was treating him as an object in thinking she could get a few more years out of him before she set him free. When Huck comes across Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas he lies and tell them he was delayed by a steam boat explosion. To Aunt Sally it was lucky that only a black man was killed. Twain seems to be using sarcasm and ridicule when he writes about these situations in the story.

The characters were very interesting. I like how Huck, in his effort to be free and go his own way, starts to develop the morals we go by today. Towards the end he resolves that he wants to free Jim, no matter what. Tom is a very frustrating character. He just uses everyone else to have his own adventures. He is very selfish and doesn’t really care about others well being. This is also an example of how people viewed as “good” really aren’t because of social standards of that time. The Duke and the Duaphin are a very conniving pair. They remind me of Tom, just more outspoken about it. They use Jim’s freedom to help themselves and aren’t trustworthy at all.

It was entertaining to see how Twain used this story to convey his feelings about Slavery and racism. The underlying sarcasm and messages were sometimes hard to see but left you with this feeling of importance. I have read this book in the past few years and it’s something that should be read more then once to catch everything Twain has to say.

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