1. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are best friends that have many things in common and many things that are not in common. Tom is better at using his imagination. In the beginning of the Adventures of Huck Finn Tom makes a robber band with the neighborhood boys. Huck soon decides that it is boring because they were not doing anything that Tom promised they would. Huck could not pretend that they were doing what Tom said they were doing. This is again illustrated in the end when Tom and Huck are trying to free Jim and Huck simply cannot see the use of what Tom is doing with all his talk about rope ladders and messages on the walls.
Huck is wiser, more sensible, and more grown up. He thinks that Tom is rather silly and nonsensical because he is talking about matters that are not important in the plot of rescuing Jim. Huck understands that the topics that Tom is talking about are not of use. Tom is more daring, civilized, and pushy than Huck. Tom lives with his aunt Polly and wears store bought clothes. He can make Huck do what he wants him to do. Tom is daring enough to help Huck steal Jim and Tom spearheads the mission and he adds all the extra effects. Both Huck and Tom are loyal friends.
They did not give each other away when they were living with Aunt Sally. They both knew Jim and they helped him escape from his prison hut. Neither of them are afraid to lie, in fact, most of the book is contains at least one of them lying. 2. Yes, Twain portrays Jim very realistically for that time period. Back in those days, black people did not go to church. They fell back on superstition because they were uneducated. Education was rare among white people and even rarer among blacks. Jim is very loyal. Black people were loyal to kind masters and people who helped them.
The way Jim is portrayed is not demeaning. He is not portrayed as stupid, just as uneducated. 3. The role of the river is simply that it the mode of transportation that Huck and Jim are using to get to Ohio. No, it is not a character. It is not animate and it cannot talk to Huck or Jim. It cannot make decisions that change or forward the plot. It can take Huck and Jim to places where the plot is forwarded, but a horse and carriage could do that. It cannot take Huck and Jim anywhere that it would not take anybody else. 4. Superstition fuels parts of the book. It becomes a motive for important actions. 7.
Over all Twain’s attitude is rather hostile. He does not really like it and enjoys making fun of it. He shows that he thinks it is just another type of superstition. Huck gives up praying in the very beginning and thinks that it is stupid. He also does not like to learn about the Bible particularly the people because as he said “I don’t take no stock in dead people [sic]”. He thinks Christians are pathetic and easily fooled. He illustrates this when the King swindles a whole church out of almost a hundred dollars by pretending to be a pirate who had reformed and was going to be a missionary to reform other pirates.
He shows it as ineffective and as an unnecessary tradition that everybody had simply because it was tradition. This is well exemplified when the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons go to church with their guns and sit through a sermon about brotherly love then go right back to feuding. Mark Twain did not like Christianity. 8. No, I do not agree that it is a racist novel. Racism is when someone is demeaning because someone else has a different shade or color of skin. Jim, the main example, is not portrayed as stupid, just uneducated and superstitious, like Huck. Jim is not portrayed as less than human. He is Huck’s best friend.
Racism is looked down upon in this book. When the King and the Duke are cruel to black people, the moral tone is that their cruelty is bad. Those who think blacks are property are not depicted well in that respect. Miss Watson, when she is going to sell Jim, is not represented well character wise. Black people are also considered property for parts of the book simply because that is how it was in those times. To say Adventures of Huck Finn is racist would be to say that everyone in those times was racist. 9. Huck Finn did not know too much. He had gone to school for at least a small period of time and could read at least a little bit.
When Huck is trapped in his dad’s cabin and he escapes, that is just ingenuity and street-smarts. Huck knew about traps and ways of catching animals but he picked that up from his dad. Most people tend to pick up things off the streets. By listening hard enough Huck could have figured out where Cairo was. When Huck is talking about the kings, he had a book and he could read so he was most likely reading out of the book. Besides he was making up a lot of what he said or it was superstition. Most of what Huck knew was common knowledge or now unlikely that he would know because he was a young man.
Most of the time when Huck is talking about “educated” things, they are not true. This is demonstrated when Huck is talking to Joanna, the hare-lip about England. Almost all of Huck’s educated conversations are bluffs, superstitions, or not true. The others may be true but Huck could have learned the information in school or through a book. 10. 11. The end of the book is no different than the rest of the book. It completely fits Twain’s plot of two mischievous boys having a bit of fun and adventure. It is just like Tom and Huck to devise a roguish plan to free a slave.
It is completely within character for Tom not to tell Huck that Jim was already free so he could have some fun. The only thing that I could see as wanting criticism is the two boys had an unrealistic amount of influence over everyone. Even someone as uneducated as Jim would not trust those two boys so implicitly. 12. The central irony is that both overarching conflicts have been resolved. Huck is running away from his dad because he is abused by him and Huck does not want to give his dad all his money. But in the very beginning of the book, when Huck and Jim are about to go down the river, they find a floating house with a dead man in it.
The dead man was Huck’s father. The other conflict of Jim running away from Miss Watson because he does not want to be sold is resolved because Miss Watson dies shortly after Huck and Jim leave. In her will she sets Jim free. Neither of them have any reason to be running away. 13. This irony is that the river is taking Huck and Jim further into the slave states when they are trying to set Jim free. During this time the United States was divided into two parts. The free states were in the north and the slaves states were in the south. The Mississippi River has a current that runs to the south, not the north.
To set Jim free they are going further into the slave states. This makes no sense because they are trying to set Jim free and are going in the wrong direction. 14. My favorite minor character was Emmeline Grangerford. She is hilarious. She is obsessed with death and separation of lovers. Emmeline wrote comical poems that were obituaries and she was good at it. The people always went to her so she could write her “tributes. ” It is surmised that she died because someone went to undertaker before they went to her. Twain is making fun of the literature and art of that period with her character. 15.
My favorite part of the book is when Huck escapes from his father’s cabin. He shows himself to be a genius young man. He displays great ingenuity and plays a brilliant practical joke. I like this part because I wish I was that talented and could play practical jokes like that. It is also humorous and I like to be entertained. 16. Adventures of Huck Finn’s greatest strength is that it is highly ironic and makes fun of everything and everybody. The book makes fun of the literature of the period with Emmeline Grangerford. It also makes fun of the art of that period with Emmeline Grangerford’s art.
Mark Twain pokes fun at feuding with the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons. They end up killing everyone in each other’s families (except Harney and Sophia) over something they do not even remember the cause for. Twain ridicules Christianity as is shown by the King and his sob story, Huck’s “praying” and his attitude about learning the Bible, and the Grangerford’s and Shepherdson’s church service. He mocks Shakespeare with the speech given by the King. He laughs at the state of education with all his characters, especially the state of education about foreign countries and kings.
These are just a few of the ironic and funny parts. Anyone could read this and laugh till their sides split. 17. The book’s greatest weakness is the way it is written. The grammar and spelling is awful. It makes it hard to understand what Twain is saying. Twain wrote it that way on purpose but he could have produced the same effect by using proper English and grammar. It would have been better if Twain had just written the dialogue in the dialects he uses and wrote the majority of the text in proper English. It would have saved me and many others from a bad headache.
Courtney from Study Moose
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