March 30, 2017

Today we started by going over chapters 1-17 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  In these chapters we talked about how Mark Twain satirized the problems he saw in the Antebellum South.  Twain shows the his issues with the South by having the characters that interact with Huck be over the top in their ways.  Whether it is the Widow Douglas trying to civilize the orphaned Huck, or Miss Watson placing high value in her slaves.  Huck sees no point in becoming civilized and conforming to the ideals of the Antebellum South and the Widow Douglas.  However, Huck does end up seeing the Widow Douglas along with Miss Watson as mother figures.  He ends up later in the story asking himself what the Widow Douglas would think of him at that moment and his actions in certain situations.  She ends up not being completely successful in civilizing Huck, however he does seem to develop a conscience.

Huck and his friends decide to start a gang along with Tom Sawyer, who Huck knows from Mark Twains previous book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Huck is happy with the creation of the gang since he is longing for his old life of adventures and mischief with Tom, especially since he is now stuck with two women who are both trying to control and civilize him.  This is because during those adventures Huck feel like a kid with his best friend Tom, without any adults controlling him.   Tom dazzles the rest of the kids in the gang with stories of his previous adventures.  Tom becomes a big brother figure to Huck, as one he looks up to and aspires to be.  The kids in the gang end up having to say an oath where they are bound to secrecy by death.  The members of the gang end up getting restless due to their lack of activity and adventure and end dissembling the gang.  Tom soon becomes an afterthought, as Huck hears of his father’s return only to take the wealth Huck had acquired from one of his previous adventures.  Huck quickly has to grow up as he soon will have to face the real world without the help of anyone else to help him.

After Huck deals with the reappearance of his father and his attempt to outsmart him by selling his fortune to the judge, Huck decides that he needs to run away and ends up on a journey to the free states along the Mississippi River with one of Miss Watson’s slaves Jim.  Jim is on this journey with Huck so that he can earn a living and can purchase the rest of his family as a free man.  Initially Huck and Jim make camp on a island near St. Petersburg, Missouri. Huck ventures into town disguised as a girl, where he hears that people will be coming to the island on the hunt for Jim.  Huck then hurries back to the island to tell Jim of this news.  Huck makes a fire on the other side of the island to draw the people over there so that Jim and him could escape onto the Mississippi River.  While on the river Huck and Jim run into robbers who are mid-crime.  Huck and Jim end up stealing the robbers’ boat leaving the people on the boat without help.  We ended talking about whether Huck was going to turn Jim in or not, and whether he feels any loyalty to Jim.

Jim and Huck start to develop a friendship along their journey as they both start to look out for one another.  Huck does however face an inner conflict on whether or not he should turn Jim in and what the Widow Douglas would think of him.  The time with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson has definitely had a big influence on Huck, since Huck throughout his adventure thinks to himself what either of the two women would think of him at that very moment.  Huck also makes resolutions to himself of what he will do next time in a similar situation that would make either of them happy.  Huck however, runs into a problem when resolves to turn Jim in to make the Widow Douglas happy, but this conflicts with the friendship him and Jim have developed.

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One thought on “March 30, 2017

  1. I think you did a good job with summarizing everything that we talked about in class today. The main focus of our class was discussing each chapter we have read thus far and the most important thing that has happened in the chapter. It was great to go over every chapter and hear from our fellow peers their own thoughts and perceptions of the chapters. In your discussion post, you talked a bit on the friendship between Huck and Jim, which I think is one of the most important relationships in the novel. Their friendship didn’t truly develop into later on in the novel, while Huck and Jim knew each other from the beginning since Huck lived at the household where Jim was a slave. The relationship developed once they both ran away from their own realities and that’s when their friendship began. Just like you said, I think their friendship is tested when Huck goes back and forth on whether he should tell Widow Douglas that Jim is with him. I think this is a significant part of the novel, where Huck is put in a situation whether he needs to almost chose where his loyalty is with: Jim or Widow Douglas.

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