October 27, 2004

Huck Finn: To the End

Nabila's blog inspires me to be a better blogger. If you want to understand Huck Finn is concise terms, visit Nabila's blog.

In class today, we discussed the "evils" of Tom Sawyer: we deemed him manipulative and tricky, but also, we called him a leader. Usually the word "leader" carries a more positive weight. Someone, even ventured as far to say, that Tom would hatch an elaborate plot and then got everyone else to do his work for him.

In my opinion, I think Tom Sawyer was a catalyst that sparked Huck's adventures. Sans Tom, there would be no story. And since when is getting out of work such a bad thing? Why is not ok to do the brain work and then get others to carry out the actions for you? Maybe, on occassion, Tom jarred with Huck; made fun of him, bullied him - but did Huck ever stray from Tom? Huck wanted to continue his friendship with Tom. Both Huck and Tom are very spirited characters. They are both emotional, unpredictable, free spirited. They reflect one another more so than contrast because they are growing together and experiencing the same/similar situation.

Children of today could probably relate to them because of the dynamic of their friendship and the excitement that surrounds their lives. After all, don't children like to imagine these sorts of adventures? Even if they don't get to act on them?

Some excellent research has been done on this topic: adolescent friendship/relationships. "In adolescence friendships normally exist within the larger social structure of peer relationships. In this larger social setting each adolescent has a particular role to play and is usually aware of their own status within the group. Close friendships are not independent of such status. Popular or successful youngsters stick together. Those who are 'in' do not mix as frequently with those on the periphery of what is acceptable to the group. Whereas the standards and styles set by the peer group can set highly influential markers around acceptable and unacceptable behaviours for young people, it is in individual friendships that young people find support and security, negotiate their emotional independence, exchange information, put beliefs and feelings into words and develop a new and different perspective of themselves." After reading and absorbing this, their relationship is something that leads them to be more emotionally independent; yet, they still find the security and comfort that they need in one another.

Posted by KatieAikins at October 27, 2004 9:59 PM
Comments

Katie,

It's so sweet of you to dedicate your blog entry to me. I feel really special. :) I'm happy to hear that I inspired you. I try my best to give good insights on the text. Thanks so much!

-Nabila :)

Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 27, 2004 11:43 PM

I think Tom grew up to be a politician!

Posted by: Linda Fondrk at October 28, 2004 9:56 AM

Katie,

I agree with you that Nabila has several inspirational thoughts on this novel as well as others, but I would also like to let you know that you have several key insights on the texts that we are assigned to read. I enjoy reading your topics and your thoughts on the novel.

I like how you defined Tom Sawyer as a catalyst for the Huck's adventures. It was a great way at looking at the subject material and I never really thought of looking at the character in this manner.

I also agree with you that even if children are not necessarily allowed to act out their adventures they still imagine them. I was very interested in this because I work with children and hear the adventures that they dream of or hope to aspire. Do you think that children today if given the chance would actually act out on these adventures? Or do we have the majority of children so frightened about the outside world that they would be timid in completing this aspect? I just wondered your opinion because like the rest of my peers I enjoy hearing your opinions. Hope to hear from you soon!

Melissa

Posted by: MelissaHagg at October 31, 2004 9:18 PM

Melissa,

I think we frighten children. Did your parents use scare tactics with you when you were little? I know it was like that for me because I am the only child.

What was growing up like for you?

Posted by: Katie Aikins at November 1, 2004 6:27 PM

Katie,

My childhood was the exact same as yours. I am not an only child I have an older sister and a younger brother. But, my mother and father were very protective of me as well as my siblings and would always frighten me with stories about what could happen if I did this or if I did that. I was constantly worried about what might happen.

I am still like this today in that I am still frightened with some of the scare tactics that my parents use. I am a very nervous person and I feel that it is probably because of these restrictions or scare tactics used by my parents and society in general.

The story that I use to best describe my meanings is when children are constantly told not to talk to strangers. This is justified by stating that parents do not want their children to be kidnapped. However, I know as a child I was so shy and paranoid that I hardly talked to anybody.

I was wondering you said that your parents used scare tactics with you when you were little. What scare tactics did you find they used? I wonder if it was worse for you because you were the only child. I may have been luckier in these terms by having a brother and sister to share the frightened thoughts! I hope to hear back from ya!! :)

Melissa

Posted by: Melissa Hagg at November 3, 2004 10:08 AM

Slavery, although still present today, was a major part of life during the early 1880's, the set time for Mark Twain's novel. All throughout Twain's novel, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," the issue of slavery is always present. Characters like the "Duke" and the "King" see Jim as just a way to gain cash by setting up a fake "Wanted" notice and selling Jim for whiskey money. And before I go any further, I would like to say that slaves are people too, though it didn't occur to most people back then. Slaves were just thought of as property, to be bought, sold, or replaced. Huckleberry Finn was like that in the beginning, too.

However, as they embarked on their journey together, Huck and Jim grew closer and closer as friends. During chapter nine, Jim protects Huck from seeing his father's dead body saying that it was "too gashley" (though it remained unknown to Huck that it was is his father). Huck, then, turns around in chapter sixteen and defends Jim from being sold when he told some ferry boat men that Jim was his father and that he had the smallpox. Huck also helps Jim escape slavery once again at the end of the book when he and Tom Sawyer broke Jim out of the Phelp's small prison shack.

So as slavery goes, Huck learned that slaves are people with families and lives to live. That is why slavery is one of the major themes of Mark Twain's novel.

Posted by: Samantha M. at August 7, 2005 2:55 PM