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Imagination Gone Wild

"By the time of the evasion, then, Tom does not see what others see. Others see a pick, Tom sees a case-knife. Others see a shed, Tom sees a dungeon. Others see a runaway slave, Tom sees an imprisoned nobleman."
~page 192 of Kevin Michael Scott's "'There's More Honor': Reinterpretting Tom and the evasion in Huckleberry Finn"

I can't remember if this was in another essay we read for class, if we talked about this in class, or if it was both, but shortly after we started reading this book, the topic came up that Tom had to create an adventure because he couldn't have a real adventure like Huck has had and is still having. I think this quote from Scott really gets this point across. It is clear from the beginning that Tom has a very active imagination. It seems by Scott's reading that Tom sees what he wants to see. He isn't grounded in reality as Huck is. Tom wants to live out the adventures he has only been able to read about in books. He isn't thrown into a full-blown situation as Huck has been, so he lets his imagination run wild so he can orchestrate a situation and then let it play out while going along for the ride.

Comments (3)

I talked about this as well. It's interesting that Tom tries so hard to live an adventurous life while Huck also tries so hard to have an adventure (like on the Walter Scott) but doesn't realize his entire story IS an adventure!

Jeremy Barrick:

I think that Tom uses his imagination because he his character has to. Tom comes from a family. He has money and decent clothes, Huck does not. Huck comes from a broken family, and really has no money, that is until the end. It is a contrast between rich and poor. Poor people always seem to have drama or wild adventures whereas people that have money have to use their imaginations to build themselves as individuals.

Gladys Mares:

Jeremy made a good point about the differences in class. We talked about this last week and it was the rich kids who were buying this novel because their comfortable lives didn't allow them to have any "adventures." This is the same for Tom. Huck escaping from his abusive dad is hardly an "adventure."

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