Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Twain: Huck Finn (Chapters 1-15)

Huck Finn: Twain
Section 1 (Chapters 1-15)

In the first few chapters of the book we are given some pretty important information. We meet a bulk of the characters. When you read the back cover of the novel you learn that “Jim” is one of the main characters to partake in this adventure with Huck, but in the first few chapters, Jim is not around. At first I was confused because it gives a lot of information on Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer and the gang and Huck’s dad, etc., but the only mention of Jim is through his “encounters” with witches, etc.  I feel like Twain did this on purpose. He wanted to set up the “confidence” we have in Huck.

Let’s dissect Huck for a moment: In the first few lines we (the readers) can see that Huck is not “sivilized” as others wish him to be and his writing skills are less than par, but that is what sets Huck a part from the others (like Tom Sawyer).  One of the major turning points for me in this novel was when Huck saw the markings of his fathers shoe in the snow.  The fear he expressed made me realize, this “little” boy is all alone in the world. Even when the boys were talking about their gang and they said that the rules can’t apply to Huck because he doesn’t have any parents. It breaks my heart a little bit because this boy has no support system or love (or so we are led to believe).  Again, I think this is all a ploy (not in a negative way) from Twain to gain the readers trust for Huck.

In the chapters 9 and 10 or around that area, Jim and Huck are on the peaceful island away from society. This section of the novel shows the readers the connection between Huck and Jim. They are both running away from the society in which is hurting them; Jim getting sold, Huck getting beat up by his dad. In these sections, Jim portrays his adult/father figure towards Huck. Jim uses his wisdom to “protect” Huck from bad things (the dead man in the houseboat).  The dead man reminds them the ugliness from society and that even on this island they can’t break away from what society can do to people.  Jim can’t use his wisdom to hide that fact from Huck though. 

One thing that got to me was the morality of Huck. He would do something bad and instantly feel bad for doing it and then in return give something back. This is explored in the chapters 13 ( i think). They are on the river and they steal things, but they feel bad so they give back. This is Twain again building the character up (of Huck). Twain is using time to let us know that even though Huck and Jim are technically fugitives (sort of) they are still human beings. This goes back to what is a man? Twain is giving human qualities to Jim and Huck, allowing the reader to feel something towards them.

In this first section of chapters, over and over again Twain uses the innocence and "childlike" personality of Huck to allow him to get in trouble with puts in danger his life and the life of Jim. This is again proven when Huck goes on the boat of the robbers. I think that the "fatherly" attribute of Jim starts to stick out because Jim and Huck get into a little argument when Huck plays yet another trick on him about being separated. I think that Huck is realizing that he is wrong (again the play on the morality) and says he is sorry.  I think that Jim feeling a some kind of "love" for Huck, forgives him.

This first section really opens the eyes up on which Twain uses his characters to make some really interesting points. As we've talked about in class, the separation of society while on the river and while in civilization. This is repeated over and over as Huck and Jim start their journey/adventure.

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