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October 23, 2005

Hurray for Huck!

Clemens, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (to Ch 24) -- American Literature, 1800-1915 (EL 266)

"We laid off all the afternoon in the woods talking, and me reading the books, and having a general good time." (Ch. XIV, p.133)

I loved reading the first part of Huckleberry Finn. Sure, it was very time consuming, but well worth it. Mark Twain makes the reader feel right in with the adventure of Huck and Jim. I particularly liked this line in the book because it just shows how easy going and content Huck and Jim were hanging out together. Its funny how Huck is somewhat educated and Jim isn't at all. You can definitely tell by the language Jim uses versus Huck. Their arguments are hilarious because they never get anywhere. It seems like they are on like a Peter Pan adventure of make believe where they are running away from their problems, but living in the moment and enjoying every minute of it. I wish I could run away like Huck and not have a care in the world sometimes, except people looking for me! This is my first time reading Mark Twain, and I really like it!

Posted by AshleyHoltzer at October 23, 2005 10:33 PM


I'm glad to year it, Ashley. Yes, the novels do require a long investment of time, but Huck Finn has a lot more humor, and plenty of bite-sized mini-adventures that remind us that Clemens was a talented storyteller and short-story author, but at the same time we'll see that he manages to make Huck mature quite a bit as the story goes on.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 23, 2005 10:38 PM

While Jim is definetly not educated in the book sense, he is educated in his own way. He knows about nature and predicting weather, superstitions and bad luck. Although we may not view this as "educated" in our meaning of the word, he does possess some knowledge handed down to him through his generations. I don't think Jim is quite the naive character as he is perceived.

Posted by: Vanessa at October 24, 2005 02:51 PM

Yes, Vanessa, I totally agree. I think Jim is a perfect example of a "street smart" character because he has a lot of knowledge to offer that didn't come from books. I think Huck and Jim learn a lot from each other because they have different types of knowledge. Jim has learned through generations and his experiences.

Posted by: AshleyHoltzer at October 24, 2005 03:24 PM

They seem to have at times the father/son relationship that Huck missed out on with his father. Jim protected him from looking at a dead man's corpse and Huck often tells Jim stories to amuse him. It's nice to get away once in awhile and it kind of reminds me of Thoreau at times.

Posted by: Erin at October 24, 2005 06:05 PM

Wait until we find out more about that particular dead body, Erin. The scenes of Huck and Jim on the raft together are certainly an important icon of freedom and the possibility of racial harmony, though every minute the raft floats south it puts Jim in deeper danger.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 24, 2005 11:07 PM

I really like this book so far. I really like reading the story because of the dialogue between Jim and Huck as well. It makes the story really interesting and an easy and more relaxing read. This is a nice change from The Scarlet Letter.

Posted by: Stacy at October 24, 2005 11:11 PM

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