Posted on November 28, by swabby My introduction to the wry wit of Samuel Langhorne Clemens or Mark Twain happened around the age of eleven. I had sprained an ankle, so I was restricted to sitting and laying around for awhile. I quickly fell in love with the story. It remains as one of my all time favorite books.
And, Marx is not alone. The ending, according to critics, diminishes the journey that Huck and Jim take on the raft as they travel down the Mississippi River over the course of the first two-thirds of the novel.
However, critics who read the novel and misunderstand the importance of the ending miscomprehend the reality of slavery and the historical period in which Twain set his book.
Any alternative ending for Huckleberry Finn would likely seem farcical given contemporary realities. Thus, Twain challenges the readers to face up to history, observe current systems of oppressions that various groups face, and conclude whether present-day America is any different from the ending of his novel.
A popular criticism cited against the book is the lack of growth that both Huck and Jim experience after their travels. After all the time that Huck spent with Jim, Huck reverts to his old self and Jim returns to being enslaved.
Twain does this in order to illustrate an accurate depiction of the history of slavery between Whites and Blacks. Enslaved people, and enslaved women in particular, spent countless years living with their white slaveholders. This realistic depiction of the relationships between Whites and Blacks at the time is harsh, but it is an accurate representation of history.
Slavery was not only prevalent, but considered a necessary evil by White Southerners. Whites likely knew that slavery was wrong and conflicted with their professed Christian values. From the beginning of slavery in Jamestown, Virginia in to its end init took America over years to fully acknowledge the evils of slavery.
It took America over years to view Blacks as humans rather than as slaves. Huckleberry finn reflection it not an unrealistic expectation of critics, therefore, to expect Huck to see Jim as a human after a few months in a raft?
Life for Blacks did not improve drastically after the Emancipation. The Proclamation established Blacks as freed people, but not as equals with their White counterparts.
There were countless new obstacles that Blacks were overcoming as a result of the legacy of slavery: Therefore, it is impractical for critics, like Leo Marx, to want Twain to portray Jim as a happy, freed man at the end of the novel.
It seems that Twain knowingly and rightly mocks the idea of freedom for Blacks. As a man who wrote this book in a post-emancipation era it was obvious to him that freedom for Blacks was theoretical and not actual.
This type of theoretical freedom is depicted in the last few chapters of the novel, where it is revealed that even after Miss Watson frees Jim, Tom continues to treat Jim as a slave. This portrayal of Jim, a freed Black man still held in bondage, parallels life for Blacks post-emancipation.
Even though they are free, Blacks do not have the liberty to do as they wish. Thus they enter a new type of psychological and physical form of slavery where limits and rules are imposed on them by White America. It is likely the unapologetic realism of the final scenes of the novel that agitates critics and readers.
As a historian it is highly appropriate for Twain to leave the readers unnerved. Not only would a happy ending be unsuitable for the novel, but it would also be unfair to the memory of those who were enslaved.
Twain honors the legacy of enslaved people, by illustrating the harsh realities they faced. By doing so, he simultaneously forces the reader to acknowledge and face the difficulties that Blacks continue to endure living in White America. Besides the realistic representation of slavery that Twain provides for its readers, the ending of Huckleberry Finn is also appropriate because of the pragmatic way Twain characterizes Huck as a child.
As a child, Huck is naive and easily influenced by his peers.
Any lesson that Huck might have learned while on the raft is completely obliterated by the presence of Tom Sawyer in the final scene. Tom represents the old life that Huck left when he set out on his journey, but because Tom is his friend and not one of his oppressors, Huck easily succumbs to the charms of his past life.
Huck happily follows Tom around, even though he treats Jim with no respect. Due to how easily Huck goes back to his past life with Tom Sawyer, Twain shows that Huck has not experienced any moral growth while on his journey.
Even before the ending, Twain hints that Huck sees Jim as a nigger and nothing more. At the very beginning of their travels, Huck plays a trick on Jim after their separation in the fog, which Jim finds highly offensive and hurtful. Even though Huck sees the effect that his games had on Jim, he does not apologize immediately.
It took Huck fifteen minutes to decide whether he should apologize to Jim, and even after those fifteen minutes, he did not apologize to the man that Jim is but to the nigger that he sees him as.
Even after Jim calls Huck his only friend, and even after Huck sees the human qualities in Jim, Huck still views Jim as less-than human. When he finds out that Jim has been sold, his initial reaction is not to refer to Jim as his friend, but as his property.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has divided opinion since its publication.
Although it’s a lively tale of Huckleberry Finn running away from home to experience memorable encounters, there have been claims of racism within the book’s narrative.
Jim, Finn’s loyal companion, being referred to. Huckleberry Finn is original in the sense that we can feel the presence of Twain’s voice, as well as Huck’s voice. Throughout the entire book, Huck speaks to us in the colloquial language of his time; which drove me mad.
The first chapter of Huck Finn establishes Huck’s personality and the current state of his times.
The book "The Adventures of Huckleberry FInn" by Mark Twain was an amazing book. It really got me interested and kept me wanting to read more.
I also loved it because it took me to the 's so vividly. It made me feel like if I was witnessing the whole thing. In the book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain, the main protagonist Huck Finn learns many lessons throughout the book including the lessons of karma and hypocrisy.
He quickly learns to reflect on these lessons and learns to use them in his society. Huckleberry Finn Reflections Essay Huck Finn and Reflections on the Past In the book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain, the main protagonist Huck Finn learns many lessons throughout the book including the lessons of karma and hypocrisy.
This novel was truly hard for me personally to read, because I have not really explored the world of southern society.
During the days of reading this book I also learned many lessons of how to view the world in a different perspective.