Wow, it STILL might be Shakespeare

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EL266

"Jim said bees wouldn't sting idiots; but I didn't believe that, because I had tried them lots of times myself, and they wouldn't sting me." (108)

Alright, so Clemens is suggesting that if Jim's superstitions are accurate, Huck's an idiot. Though they obviously vary some in absolute meaning, idiot seems to be roughly synonymous with fool. Huck may seem a fool to the rest of society, or at very least his ideas are dismissed because he's kid, at the same time this status gives him license to say them. Because the novel is satirical, much of Clemens meaning is revealled through Huck.

Now, who was that one playwright who was always having some licensed fool reveal the truth to the audience?  

2 Comments

Good point. In society at the time, Jim would have been considered most likely to take the "fool" role (consider Topsy, for example). But Huck doesn't realize how much he himself is revealing through his own ignorance, and that's what makes the presentation so masterful.

DavidWilbanks Author Profile Page said:

True, I hadn't really thought of that. I was thinking of Huck as more like the wise Fool from "King Leer," just because he, as narrator and runaway can point out things that he knows would offend the rest of the society. He mentions they'd call him an "Abolishionist" as a derogotory term, yet doesn't care. While this may come accross as him spurning society as an imature kid, it really, especially to modern readers (who tend to consider abolishonists on the side of good), is offering criticism of society.

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