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EL 266 final chapters of AHF-Leave it to Tom

"'I'll tell you. It ain't right, and it ain't moral, and I wouldn't like it to get out-but there ain't only just the one way; we got to dig him out with the picks, and let on it's case-knives.'" (Clemens) Ch. 36

Maybe it's just me, but I see this happen when Tom enters the story. All of a sudden when Tom enters, he tends to take over Huck's adventure. The quote I used is just an example of this. Tom finds a way to get to Jim. It appears that he does not let Huck think for himself. Tom, all of a sudden, becomes the protagonist. This leaves Huck to validate all that Tom says and does. Tom says that instead of using shovels to get to Jim, use case-knives.
While I never got the chance, yet, to read the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I really do not know Tom Sawyer like I got to know Huck Finn. But Tom steals the limelight from Huck.
So I wanted to know what case-knives are. Silly me. They are nothing more than pocket knives. I guess I wasn't the only one that did not know what they were. In Chapter 36, Tom asks Huck to hand him a case-knife. "' Gimmee a case-knife'". Huck didn't know either. "I didn't know just what to do-but then I thought. I scratched around amongst the old tools, and got a pick-axe and gave it to him, and he took it and went to work, and never said a word." Old Southern slang in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are hard to understand as I am, obviously, used to modern English nor have I ever lived in the South. If it were not for the glossary in the back of my book, I would not know what some of the words being used are. Case-knives are not in the glossary, by the way.

Comments

I agree. Tom did seems to take over the story. I found it almost annoying actually. I specifically remember reading the part when Tom is telling Jim what he has to do to make it look like he was a prisoner and thinking to myself "Ok Tom you can be quiet now."

I definitely got annoyed with Tom. I included that opinion in my blog. I think Twain was trying to include a passage where the three characters, Tom, Huck, and Jim, regress back to their former roles from the beginning of the novel. Tom's role is obvious, Huck went back to the shadow of Tom, and Jim lost all his power he gained from the river. Tom never escapes from his role, Huck is debatable, and Jim definitely pulls through the end with some power and dignity in his back pocket. Huck and Tom's relationship interests me but also causes confusion. Huck never stands up to Tom, but yet he can stand up to a whole society.

I actually hated an entire chapter.. it's 35 or 36, I can't recall off hand - when Tom goes on and on about the proper way to free Jim. I was both amused and irritated.

It did seem like Tom took over. I guess a big part of the reason behind that is that Huck looks up to Tom. There were so many times in the book that Huck mentioned something Tom said, did, or would do when Tom wasn't even around. Maybe Tom took over the story because Huck held him in this high esteem.

I too had no clue what a "case-knife" was, and when Huck didn't know I almost felt comforted because I wasn't alone in my ignorance. I have to agree with you Jeremy, any time Tom enter, Huck is shoved to the side and takes whatever Tom has to say. Since the story is about Huck you would think he would grow enough to feel more equal to Tom, but it seems that Tom will always remain on a pedestal for Huck.

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