Huck Finn Essay, Research Paper
I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. The book had it’s ups and downs. It was a little slow, but it had a lot of great details. Sometimes it was hard to understand some of the characters when they were speaking because they were “talking” in that old southern slang. Jim was the hardest one to understand, “Dah, now, Huck, what I tell you?–what I tell you up dah on Jackson islan? I tole you I got a hairy breas’ en what’s design un it; en I tole you I ben righ wunst, eh gwinter to be rich agin; eh it’s come true heah she is! Dah, now! doan’ talk to me–signs is signs, mine tell you; en I knowed jis’ ’s well ‘at’ I ‘uz gwinter be rich agin as I’s stannin’ heah dis minute!” (Jim; 432) A lot of his speech is broken. But overall I wouldn’t say that the book is one of the better books I read, but it was worth the time I took reading it.
Through out the book, although it was hard understanding him, Jim was my favorite character. Jim has a very loving heart. He would go out of his way, risking himself, to help another person. Jim also had this simplemindedness about him. He seemed so innocent most of the time. He generally didn’t argue or get in any fights with anyone. At the end of the book we find out that he had hid Huck’s father’s death from him. When they were on Jackson Island they saw a house floating by on the river and they paddled out to it and Jim found Huck’s dad’s dead body and he covered it so Huck wouldn’t know. He did that so that Huck didn’t get upset. And when they were going down the river in the raft during the nights they would take turns doing watch. Alot of the time Jim just took Huck’s watch too. “I went to sleep, and Jim didn’t call me when it was my turn. He often done that.” (Huck; 231) Another instance of Jim’s warm heartedness is when Tom got shot with a bullet in the leg, and the doctor was trying to fix his leg. After the incident the doctor stated, “…so says I, ‘I’ve got to have some help, somehow;’ and the minute I says it, out crawls this nigger from somewhere, and says he’ll help, and he done it, too, and done it very well.” (Doctor; 421 & 422) He later stated that Jim had to have been aware that he was risking/giving away his freedom to help Tom and it didn’t seem to matter. Jim’s just an all around warm hearted guy.
Just like there is a character that I enjoyed a lot, there’s also a character that irritated me to no end. Tom Sawyer, although a very good character in the story, annoyed me. I have enough sense to recognize that Tom was an essential part in this story, but enough of a strong opinion to state my feelings. His obsession with having everything be an adventure was the main reason his character annoyed me. Everything had to be complex and dangerous. If it wasn’t exciting and didn’t involve some sort of event from one of his books Tom sure could manipulate it so that it would. When Tom and Huck were talking about breaking Jim out of slavery they were discussing plans for it. Huck suggested removing the board from a window and pulling Jim through it. Tom’s response to that was, “It’s as simple as tit-tat-toe, three-in-a-row, and as easy as playing hooky. I should hope that we can find a way that’s a little more complicated that that, Huck Finn.” (Tom Sawyer; 348) But I guess other than his obsession with turning everything into an adventure he’s a good character.
Although I said the book was somewhat boring it did have it’s up parts. There were quite a few very surprising parts that completely caught me off guard. For instance when I found out that the two men that Tom and Jim were being so nice to and were traveling with had turned Jim in. Not only did he turn Jim in but he had the Gaul to say, “Fact is, we’d come to consider him our nigger; yes, we did consider him so–goodness knows we had enough trouble for him.” (The Duke; 320) That made me so angry. Jim was never any trouble to them, in fact he waited on the hand and foot. I was also surprised by the fact that Miss Watson freed Jim in her will. I didn’t expect that to come out. And the way that Tom stated it was amusing yet still shocking. He said, “The hain’t no right to shut him up! Shove—and don’t you lose a minute. Turn him loose! he ain’t no slave; he’s as free as any cretur that walks this earth!” Tom Sawyer; 427) He then went on to explain how Miss Watson freed Jim. But it still shocked me to know that Tom and Huck went through all that work, and Tom insisted on it, and knew the whole time Jim was already free.
The main thing that I learned from this book is that you have to expect the unexpected. Life has it’s ups and downs and there’s nothing you can do to change that. The best thing to do is go with the flow of it all. Do your best to he happy during the exact moment you’re living at the time. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen in a few years, or weeks or even days or hours…just worry about now. Worry about having fun, and enjoying now. Otherwise you’re probably going to look back on your life and realize how dull it was and how you spent it all worrying about things. Live life as it comes.