Mark Twain. 1884. Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1982.
Why read it? A vivid re-creation of the time of slavery in the
Huck: “…[the Widow] said the thing a body could get by praying for it was ‘spiritual gifts’…too many for me… I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself…but I couldn’t see no advantage about it—except for the other people.” p. 635.
“I had been to school most all the time, and could spell and read and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don’t reckon I could get any further than that if I was to live forever… don’t take no stock in mathematics, anyway.” p. 639.
Jim to Huck: “You gwyne to have considerable trouble in yo’ life, en considerable joy.” p. 642.
Pap to Huck: “You’re educated, too, they say; can read and write… think you’re better’n your father, now, don’t you, because he can’t.” p. 643.
Pap to Huck: “I’ll lay for you my smarty; and if I catch you about that school I’ll tan you good.” p. 644.
Huck: “[Pap]…clumb out on to the porch-roof and slid down a stanchion and traded his new coat for a jug of forty-red, and clumb back again and had a good old time; and towards daylight he crawled out again, drunk as a fiddler, and rolled off the porch and broke his left arm in two places and was most froze to death when somebody found him after sun-up.” p. 646.
The judge on trying to reform Pap: “He said he reckoned a body could reform the old man with a shot-gun maybe, but he didn’t know no other way.” p. 646.
Huck: “Every time he [Pap] got money he got drink; and every time he got drunk he raised Cain around town; and every time he raised Cain he got jailed…this kind of thing was right in his line.” p. 647.
Huck: “But by-and-by Pap got too handy with hick’ry, and I couldn’t stand it; I was all over welts.” p. 648.
Huck: “Pap was agoing on so, he never noticed where his old limber legs was taking him to, so he went head over heels over the tub of salt pork, and barked both shins, and the rest of his speech was all the hottest kind of language….”
To be continued.