« News Writing Portfolio 2 | Main | Different Kinds of Freedom »

Telling Details

"There warn't no color in his face, where his face showed; it was white; not like another man's white, but a white to make a body sick, a white to make a body's flesh crawl--a tree-toad white, a fish-belly white."
~page 85 of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Even if there had been no prior indication that something was wrong with Huck's father, that he was to be feared, this excerpt would have given some indication of that. His face wasn't just described as pale or even just sickly pale. It is a white "to make a body sick" and to make its "flesh crawl" (85). These aren't exactly details used to describe someone or something pleasant. As we later find out, the character overall seems to fit this initial description of how white his face is. I just thought that was interesting.

Comments (2)

Kayla Lesko:

There's nothing like description to tell us how to think about a character.

Jessica Pierce:

I also wrote about this passage. I found it interesting that Huck's father's "white-ness" was described so despicably. This was occurring during a time of white supremacy, so the fact that Huck is able to overlook the racial slurs of his time and see evil for what it really is speaks of his knowledge as a young boy. Instead of associating white with its biblical implications, along with the implications of his time, Huck realizes that white can also have darker connotations.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 9, 2009 5:18 PM.

The previous post in this blog was News Writing Portfolio 2.

The next post in this blog is Different Kinds of Freedom.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.