Reading a Book with Dialects is Blahhh

| | Comments (2)
Just as a general statement, I really, really dislike some of the use of dialects. Mainly Jim's. OK only Jim's. It takes forever to figure it out and even when I do, I'm still like "Wait, what?" It really interrupts my reading and takes me out of the story when I'm reading it. I understand why Twain would want to write in dialects and from my understanding he was one of the first writers to do it, and that's just great, but it doesn't work for me. I'd rather just read it normally and pretend that he has a dialect in my head.

I have a terrible tendency I just skip over anything that Jim when he talks a lot because I just it frustrates me. I figure out what he was saying from what Huck says afterword to him so I know what's happening in the story, I don't necessarily read it directly from Jim's dialogue.

2 Comments

Jeremy Barrick said:

Why is it so hard to read Jim's dialogue when Huck's is nearly the same?
Yes. It is hard to read, but Jim was a slave and did not know proper English. I think that is more realistic than annoying.

I suppose this depends highly on the reader. If you've read many books that use dialects and you've become accustomed to it, Jim's speech is not that hard.
If you're not used to seeing such a realistic (as Jeremy put it) speech pattern, it can be extremely difficult to adjust to. Also, we don't hear speech like that in our every day lives, well, most of us don't. This also makes it harder to adjust to something that is relatively new to the reader.
I must admit, getting through some of Jim's passages can be difficult, but even if you have a hard time understanding it, I would recommend reading it, just to get the practice at learning something different.

Leave a comment


Type the characters you see in the picture above.