Life's What You Make It

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"By becoming, in effect, an author, Jim writes himself a new destiny." (Smith 364)

This quotation refers to the elaborate story that Jim created after Tom had hung Jim's hat on a branch while he was sleeping. You always here saying about people having control of their life and writing their own destiny, and this quotation follows that thought exactly. Smith points out that Jim is smart. He knew what he was doing when he created this story. Because of people's' superstitions, people believed Jim and wanted to hear this story about his hat. It brought attention to him.

This gave me a whole new view of Jim. I always thought he was an uneducated person just kind of riding the coat tails of Huck and Tom, but really he was using them (especially Tom) to his advantage, which is very smart. So Jim may not know history or math. but he knows how people work and how to use people's foolishness (Tom's tricks) to get attention from others.  It kind of goes along with what Heather had said about Huck and his education. It doesn't matter thay Huck or Jim know everything that you learn is a classroom because they know how to accomplish things that some people who know multiplication would not be able to figure out.

I think that Jim's power in the novel can be overlooked sometimes. I mean, the whole point of going down the river was for Jim's freedom. I know I always tend to be drawn to what Huck or Tom has to say and push Jim and his stories to the side unintentionally. The book is just as much the adventures of Jim as the adventures of Huck.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/11/smith_dlhuck_ji/#comments

3 Comments

This entire essay was kind of an eye-opener. I didn't really think too much of Jim's stories while I was reading, but this essay makes you think back on all the stories that were in AHF. Jim really did have an uncanny ability to make a great story.
Considering when Huck made him believe he dreamt the entire night in the fog, and Jim Knew that it had to have happened. Huck eventually stated that it really did happen and Jim knew how to make him feel lower than dirt for playing such a mean trick. Jim really can affect those around him just by being creative, it's kind of neat.
Also, thanks for linking me! :) Good to know we can connect it all together at times.

Jessica Apitsch said:

I too really enjoyed how Smith shined a light on the depths of Jim character!Like you said, he was aware when he could use others for his advantage, but I liked how he always did this with everyones best interest at heart. This separates him from many of the other characters. He uses his intelligence to aid himself, but also Tom and Huck. I feel Jim's intelligence to the inner being of a human also sets him a part. His lack in factual knowledge holds very importance when it comes to the "real life" in the novel, which generally is true for real life outside the novel. Tom might come across as the one with all the tools, but like Smith said,Tom may have had his chuckle, but the last laugh clearly belongs to Jim..". I, too, put all my energy into Tom and Huck, but after reading this essay I have a brand new appreciation for Jim.

Kayla Lesko said:

Jim was what made the book so enjoyable, at least for me anyway.

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Kayla Lesko on Life's What You Make It: Jim was what made the book so
Jessica Apitsch on Life's What You Make It: I too really enjoyed how Smith
Heather Mourick on Life's What You Make It: This entire essay was kind of
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