October 21, 2004

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Chapters 1-15)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain. So, far I am enjoying the story. It is interesting and I like to read about adventures. I have read "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" when I was younger. It was a good book. I have realized how Tom Sawyer plays an important role in Huck's life. Huck goes out on adventures, because of his role model (Tom). There are some events that I thought Huck was clever, creative, and trustworthy.

In Chapter VII, Huck makes the situation look like that the robbers have broken in the cabin and killed him. He does this by cutting the pig's throat and having the blood trail to the river. He also covers up the hole,with a rock, since he cut it through with a saw. He is a clever boy of 13 or 14 years of age to come up with these plans.

In Chapter XI, Huck disguises himself as a girl and goes into a formerly abandoned shack, where a woman of the age of forty lives. Her name is Mrs. Judith Loftus. At first, Huck creatively tells his story of how he reached to her location. Huck also tells that his name is "Sarah Williams", and then when the woman asked again, he replied "Mary Williams." The woman asked why he had two names, and then Huck covers himself by saying that his full name is "Sarah Mary Williams." After awhile, the woman recognizes that it is a boy and not a girl by the way he threw the lead at the rats. When she asked for his real identity, he said his name is "George Peters" and describes himself as an apprentice to a mean farmer. She lets him go after quizzing him on several farm subjects to make sure he is telling the truth.

In Chapter XVI, Huck thinks about how he helped Jim escaped from Miss Watson. After all, she has done a lot for Huck. He wanted to turn Jim in, but after Jim revealed to him that he is his best friend and is the only one to keep his promise, then Huck became soft-hearted. When two men came upon the raft, in the search for runaway slaves, Huck didn't turn in Jim. He mislead them to a house where he said that his family has smallpox and needs help. The two men didn't want to be contaminated, so they gave Huck twenty dollars and directions on how to get people to help his sick family.

The three presentations made by Erin, Jessica, and Jen were informative and raised good points.

In Erin's presentation, I liked how she analyzed the relationship between Huck and Jim. In Chapter 8, p. 31, it is where Huck is glad that he has encountered Jim on the island. He was getting lonely because he was just gazing at the stars and have no else to talk to. I think Huck does want friendship with Jim and doesn't care if he is a black man. Huck went to school and he is more educated than his father, so he knows the difference between right and wrong thinking. Even when Huck didn't want to tie Jim to a tree, it was because he felt a special bond between him. Although, Huck was tricking Jim at certain times, e.g. fog incident, snake encounterment. He did felt bad afterwards for Jim.

In Jessica's presentation, she talked about freedom. Some of the examples were that he didn't like school, fancy clothes. He prefered to live with his father because there are no rules for him. The reason Huck and Jim went on their journey is because Jim doesn't want to be sold and he wants to go to the free states. For Huck, he doesn't want to go to Widow Douglas nor does he goes to his father. He wants to do what he wants.

In Jen's presentation, she talked about superstitions, for example spilling of the salt and touching snake skin. By touching the snake-skin, it brought back luck, because Jim was bitten by the snake. There other superstitions involved as well, like the Jim's hairball oracle and how he predicts the future. He might have done it to get money from Huck or he might have did it because that is how he believe in things where he came from. I remember another incident where Jim says that by having hairy arms and chest, it will bring riches to oneself. It is interesting how there are numerous predictions if one has something or if one does something.

Here is a link that talks about the early edition of Mark Twain's controversial novel.

Posted by NabilaUddin at October 21, 2004 01:53 AM
Comments

Nabila,

I really liked how you wrote in your blog entry all of your various thoughts and interpretations of the several chapters and even presentations. However, I was wondering what your personal opinions were on the novel thus far. Do you see an topic that seems to generally stick out for you? I have written in my blog entry a topic in regards to how I see an ongoing struggle with Huck in terms of individual versus society and have included the link. I was wondering if from your interpretation you could state exactly how you feel about a theme in the book thus far. I know we have talked about superstitions and other topics and presentations, but I always enjoy your insight on literary works. What do you see interesting about this book? Can you make any inferences in the book such as irony or anything in terms of those lines? I am looking forward to hearing your personal opinions.

Melissa

Posted by: MelissaHagg at October 24, 2004 08:01 PM

Melissa,

I am glad that you find my insights interesting. My personal opinion of this book would be that it is much more enjoyable than the Scarlet Letter. Personally, I like reading about adventures and how the characters go through obstacles to achieve their goal. When I was younger, I have read "Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and I enjoyed reading it. This book goes along with Tom Sawyer, because it's a different character, but same genre. The only thing I didn't like is the way Jim spoke in the book. Sometimes I understood what he has said and sometimes it's hard to interpret. I would say the author tends to use irony a bit in the story at some places, but it's not as visible. I think there is some satire involved in the story as well. It's really a mix of different literacy terms, and that's why this book is popular do to different approaches taken by the author. There is more than one way to look at the text.

It's amazing how Huck is only about 13 years old and how he makes his decisions like an adult. It's neat to compare how kids from the past acted like to the kids nowadays. Do you think children in the earlier generations worked harder than children of today? I would be interested to know your opinion.

-Nabila :)

Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 25, 2004 12:33 PM

Nabila,

I just wanted to let you know that I did respond to your comment but it can be found under my presentation blog entry. I left the URL so you could find it and get to it quicker!!

Melissa

Posted by: MelissaHagg at October 25, 2004 05:43 PM

I'm generally enjoying the book, but the biggest problem I'm having with it is Jim & Huck's relationship. I understand that, in this time period, n*****s were not considered "people," but doesn't Huck consider him a friend? If they're friends, why would Huck let the king & duke treat him that way? I know that this is the point of the book (the maturing of Huck and his outlook on life), but it still gets to me that Huck allows Jim to be treated so badly. I like your point about the bond they felt; I didn't pick up on that, but it makes a lot of sense. Do you think Huck learned the difference between right and wrong from school or is it just his conscience finally speaking up?

Posted by: Katie Lambert at October 26, 2004 07:47 PM

Katie,

I agree that Huck has let Jim suffer by having the king and the duke treat him badly. In my other blog on Chapters 16-31, I have also noticed that when the king and duke painted Jim blue, Huck didn't do anything about it. I do realize that Huck wants to help out Jim, but he not really here whenever he needs. I think Huck is physically here for Jim, but not emotionally. I think Huck knows what is right and wrong from school; however he still didn't develop his sense of respecting other races. Sure, he is nice to Jim and he helps him out, but he tends to ignore Jim whenever he is in real trouble. Either is his ignoring Jim due to the pressures of society or he really doesn't know how to react with a black man when he is in trouble. Do you agree?

-Nabila :)

Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 26, 2004 10:18 PM
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