Heroism Limited by Society...
I read a article from the Modern Language Studies Journal written by Jim O'Loughlin entitled "The Whiteness of Bone: Russell Banks' "Rule of Bone" and the Contradictory Legacy of "Huckleberry Finn." I found this article using the JSTOR database and it is 11 pages long. The object of this article is to examine the "complex role of whiteness in Huckleberry Finn." In doing this the article also considered the how the privileges that came along with being white was key to developing an understanding of Huck and Jim's relationship.
This article also presents that idea while at moments some of the more dark points are left unchallenged, at times "whiteness is held up for ridicule." It also touches upon whiteness being a hypocritical ideology and the "social dimensions of whiteness" being more persistent its legal counterpart.
The section of this article that really opened my mind to a deeper understanding was when O'Loughlin addressed "Jim mentioning Huck's compromised status" causing him to really sit back and examine the true worth of his status himself. O'Loughlin goes on to touch upon certain aspects in which Huck's white privilege affords him such as "allowing him to assume it is ok to use Jim as the butt of his joke." Another aspect includes the ""ideology of whiteness that tells him that it is his right not to be concerned with the feelings of someone who is black." He further argues that later on in the novel their friendship replaces white privilege as the "guiding principle" of the relationship.
Finally O'Loughlin argues that Huck's inability to admit his decision was the right or good demonstrates "the limitations of individual heroism in the face of social determination." This article was a eye opener for the simple fact that while a few of the arguments made agreed with my thoughts, a lot of the positions proposed had not come to me during my reading. After reading this article I have a better sense of interpretation that I, myself can branch upon by using some of the structural aspects of this novel to depict an underlying meaning.
O'Loughlin, Jim. "The Whiteness of Bone: Russell Banks' "Rule of Bone" and the Contradictory Legacy of "Huckleberry Finn." Modern Language Studies. 32.1 (2002): 31-42. JSTOR. web. 18 Oct. 2010