November 01, 2005

Huck Finn Finale

(If this blog offends you, I apologize. Please consider the time frame written.)

"...Tom Sawyer had gone and took all that trouble and bother to set a free nigger free! and I couldn't ever understand, before, until that minute and that talk how he could help a body set a nigger free, with his bringing up." (Twain 317).

First off, let me say that I am more than excited that Jim is free at the end. I know that we are not supposed to do character analyses, but I am just glad to say that Jim is free after all the poor mistreatments he had to deal with. As much as I understand the time frame, and that was really how slaves were treated, you can't help but think that Jim is the main protagonist, not Huck. Yes, Huck was being abused by Pap, which nobody deserves. But as much as this story was called The Adventures of Huck Finn, this story could have been called The Adventures of Jim. Why Twain is making Jim out to be a protagonist, we have already discussed through the Smith and Smith excerpts.

One thing I noticed, on top of the fact that Jim was a protagonist, was that most of the white folk in the town were viewed as the antagonists by Twain. Pap: a drunkard and an abuser. The duke and the dauphin: scam artists and robbers. And above all, The Phelpses. These people who were holding on to Jim, shot their own nephew (who they thought was Sid, but it was Tom), over a slave. Greed has really become the sin of choice in this story, and the only good people in this story are the children and slaves. As crazy as that sounds, Twain is really getting a message across to the readers.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at November 1, 2005 10:33 AM

Good point about how Clemens makes out the White people of the town look like the antagonists...or was this a coincidence? One thing for sure it that Jim is definitely made out to be the good guy and the reader feels happy for him at the end (I know I did!). I also noticed that the whole story is really about Jim but the title has Huck's name in it. Interesting....

Posted by: Ashley Holtzer at November 1, 2005 04:23 PM

Do you think Clemens wanted to actually write a book about the adventures of an escaped slave but instead had to write about Huck because stories about strong black characters just "weren't done at the time"? Or was it that Jim just happened to evolve during the story, almost subconciously taking over?

Posted by: Nessa at November 2, 2005 08:07 AM

I think that there is some clearly represented symbolism that makes Jim a protagonist. I really don't think that making him seem like the good guy was just a coincidence. That just seems silly.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at November 2, 2005 10:45 AM

No, you misunderstood. Obviously it wasn't a coincidence- no one has coincidences like that. What I was asking, is that although Clemens did conciously make Jim a strong character, was his aim and goal to write a novel with a black character as the protagonist and just fill in with Huck?

Posted by: Vanessa at November 3, 2005 12:34 PM

Sorry Jay, I see that comment wasn't exactly directed at me. However, my question still stands.

Posted by: Vanessa at November 3, 2005 12:37 PM

I believe so. I think that there was some intention to make Jim the protagonist.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at November 3, 2005 03:00 PM
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