October 25, 2004

Adventures of Huck Finn (Chapters 16-31)

The story is getting interesting and is moving at a faster pace. Here are some highlights of the chapters that I found out to be exciting.

In Chapter XVIII, Huck lives with the Grangerfords and now Huck develops a new interest in girls. The only problem is that the family is having a feud with the Shepardsons. This feud has been going on for years, until one day the Grangerfords (Buck and 19-year old) have been killed by the Shepardsons in a gunfight. Now, Huck must sail away in his raft with Jim to find a new location for him to stay. Huck was distrubed for awhile, since he did enjoy the family's company.

In Chapter XXIV, the king and the duke decided to paint Jim blue for the performance of their show. They placed a sign on Jim and he is supposed to represent a "Sick Arab". I find this rather amusing, because I don't know why being painted blue represents an Arab. What's the connection? Also, I find it upsetting that if Huck is such great friends with Jim, then why did he let the king and duke paint Jim? Huck should have protected Jim and not allowed them to paint Jim blue.

In Chapter XXIX, there was a conflict between the king and duke and the real Harvey and William Wilks. Both were going on and on about who is real and who is a fraud. There was a turning point to the story when the king said, "I warn't up at the Pint in the mornin'." Then, the lawyer said, "Preacher be hanged, he's a fraud and a liar. He was up at the Pint that mornin'. I live up there, don't I? Well, I was up there, and he was up there. I see him there. He come in a canoe, along with Tim Collins and a boy."

The doctor always had suspected that the king and duke were frauds, but couldn't convince the townspeople. When the lawyer asked them to sign a paper to see who is the real Harvey and William, there were excuses made from them. So, Harvey said to describe the tatoo on Peter's body. Harvey said one thing and the king said that there wasn't any tattoo. The townspeople went to the place where Peter was buried and wanted to view the tatoo. Instead of focusing the tattoo, the townspeople were in an uproar to discover $6,000 in gold inside the coffin. During the confusion, Huck has escaped to the raft and met up with Jim.

After reading up to Chapter 31, Huck's relationship with Jim is getting stronger. He wrote a letter to Miss Watson telling her where Jim was located, but Huck makes his decision of what to do and the real evidence of Huck's friendship with Jim is in the following quote: "It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll go to hell" -- and tore it up.

I have noticed how Huck is involved with death and violence. There are so many places where he has encountered these situations, but Huck is unaware of the pattern. Perhaps, Samuel Clemens wanted the get this point across to the readers and it makes the story more interesting to read and to have more feedback.

I have read Melissa's and Se-Ann's blogs on their views of the novel. Both their presentations in class were insight and has raised good points in class.

In Melissa's presentation, she focused on the symbols of freedom. I agree with her that the river is a major symbol, because Huck feels free when he rides the raft along the river. He doesn't have to listen to anyone :including his pap, the widow, and Miss Watson. He wants to do what he wants. A good example was brought up that Huck and Jim rode down the raft naked. Then, didn't have anyone to stop them, so it feels that they are connected with the river. The river is a feeling of protection. It has kept Jim safe, since he is a runaway slave. He tries to avoid being sold to others. That's why Huck and Jim always hide the raft from everyone, so they can ride down the river later on. They feel it as a security item. Linda brought up a good point on how the story is moving with the river being a central focus on the story.

In Se-Ann's presentation, she talked about freedom and society. It goes along with Melissa's presentation, but some of the material are more in depth. The class had a debate whether or not there are different world views of the children of the past and the children of today. Back then, children were allowed to be free and play around anywhere. Nowadays, children are more restricted and are not allowed to do activities where they are alone. They need constant attention, because of how society is shaped up to be. There are events, such as child abduction going around, so parents are forced to keep an eye out for their kids at all times. The children of today, do not experience freedom as the children of the past did. There were more adventures back then than nowadays.

Dr. Jerz brought up an interesting point. He noticed how Huck and Jim missed the Ohio River, which is the Northern part and is the free states. Since, they missed this route, they continued to go South, which is the Mississippi River. MarkTwain (Samuel Clemens) didn't go to the Northern part, so he decided to make the characters go to the Southern part, since he has rode down this river many times. He knows what to expect down the Mississippi River. For instance, if Samuel Clemens changed the route to the Northern part, then the story would have been different. I viewed this thought very insightful and informative.

Posted by NabilaUddin at October 25, 2004 02:46 PM
Comments

Nabila,

I am so glad to see that you agree with several of the points that were brought up in my presentation! I was wondering if before you read my presentation and blog entry did you see this symbolism. Did you though see it in a different way? I found the land and the river to both me very influential for me. I hope to get your insight because it seems as though we are only a very select few that are actually blogging and getting responses from each other!! Hope to hear from you!

Melissa

Posted by: MelissaHagg at October 25, 2004 05:40 PM

Melissa,

I know that we are the few bloggers that hear responses from each other, but it's alright. At least, we are learning each other's opinions about different topics and it's informative.

To tell you the truth, I didn't know about the symbolism. I really didn't notice the river as being an important concept. It was until I read your blog before your presenation and after your presentation, that I understood the symbols in the book. I didn't realize that there are so many in the book. Each one represents different views. Yes, the land and river are important.

I feel that the land is a symbol of not getting peace within one's self, because everytime Huck and Jim are on land, the get into trouble or they seek danger. They is a lot distrubance coming into play whenever they are in land, especially with the king and the duke. If they hadn't met with them on land, then they would have been free.

The river is more peaceful and Huck and Jim can express what they feel and they don't encounter as much problems as they did on land. There are a couple of incidents were the river is not calm, but more incidents happened when they were on land.

-Nabila :)

Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 25, 2004 06:00 PM

Nabila,
Huck is willing to sacrifice his own soul to hell for Jim's runaway shows the great amount of growth which Huck has gone through. In the earlier chapters, Huck would never have decided to make such a sacrifice. This indicates how his relationship with Jim has changed through the course of the journey. It also how they became respected friends from companions at the beginning. Huck makes his decision after recalling all the things that Jim has done for protecting him and caring for him.

Posted by: Hui Lin at October 26, 2004 12:56 AM

Hui,

Yes, I do agree how Huck and Jim's relationship is becoming stronger. He realizes what a good friend Jim is despite his race. He doesn't care how society treats him. He just wants a good friend, who will continue with his journey. Eventhough, Huck knows that Miss Watson has done so much for him; he still doesn't want to give Jim up, because he will just be sold to someone else.

-Nabila :)

Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 26, 2004 10:58 AM

Nabila,

I am really glad that through my presentation you saw light into the symbolism of the river but also other types of symbolism as well. The area that you brought up about the land being symbolic in terms of freedom for Huck and Jim if they never would have met the Duke and the King. I really think that in reading the book that the duke and the king just added to the already troubles that they found when in society. I think they would have still have had the troubles found in society and throughout. I just do not think it may have been as severe as with the Duke and the King. Do you think that just because they met the King and the Duke that the land was symbolic for the destruction and troubles found in society? I know that you have stated that you feel a certain way. I was just wondering if you could elaborate more on that and state a claim on whether for sure it would not have been so symbolic in terms of the land meaning freedom versus troublesome if the King and the Duke did not come into the picture. I know I am really probing here but like stated before your opinion as well as the other classmates opinions help me to fully understand the novel. So, if you could just give me some feedback I would really appreciate it!! Hope to hear from you..

Melissa

Posted by: MelissaHagg at October 26, 2004 01:30 PM

Wow... Nabila is really helping the class tap into the power of blogs. Great work, everyone -- I hope we'll have a great discussion tomorrow.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 26, 2004 02:35 PM

Melissa,

Sure, I'll be glad to elaborate on my thoughts about the land being symbolic. It seems to me that land has been a destruction to Huck and Jim, because that's where they have witnessed the most violence and death. Some examples, include the killing of the drunk by Shepburn, killing of the Grangerfords, Huck's feelings that he wished he was dead, etc. When Huck and Jim met the Duke and the king, it wasn't as bad, but still they were annoying Huck because he knew they were frauds. They were just harmless crooks, but still Huck couldn't stand him. He met him on land and sometimes the frauds went with Huck and Jim on their raft and sailed on the river. However, it wasn't the same satisfying feeling he had before. It changed when he met those two frauds. Huck didn't feel as negative when he was on the river. He felt more at peace within himself. The only incident that was distrubing on the river was when he and Jim went inside the shipwreck and saw a man that was shot in the back. Other than that, the river was the only place where he could turn to. Thanks for responding quickly. I appreciate it. I always enjoy viewing your insights of the texts.

-Nabila :)

Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 26, 2004 10:00 PM

Nabila,

Do you think it was interesting that they chose to recite a portion of "Romeo and Juliet"? Everyone in a family dies in TAoHF; the star crossed lovers survive. How unusual. You always have such great insights to offer, and I was curious as to your thoughts. :)


Katie

Posted by: Katie Aikins at October 26, 2004 10:19 PM

Katie,

Thanks for your complement :) I try to get in depth of the reading and get something out of it and appeals to me. Well, I did think it was kind of ironic how they mentioned "Romeo and Juliet" and then at the end most of the family died. It was interesting how the author tied in Romeo and Juliet into this novel. It was creative and it went along with Huck's adventure. The only thing different is that in this version "Romeo and Juliet" are portrayed as southerns rather than Shakespearean. I found it rather amusing. Thanks for your thought :)

-Nabila

Posted by: NabilaUddin at October 26, 2004 10:35 PM

Nabila,

Thanks for elaborating on your points and going a little deeper in your meanings. I really appreciate your help in allowing me to understand the text more. Keep up the good work!!

Melissa Hagg

Posted by: Melissa Hagg at October 31, 2004 09:53 PM
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