Monday, January 11, 2010

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (3)

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 U.S. A moral dilemma for Huck who, in helping Jim, the escaped slave, is violating the law.


Huck: “[Pap] hopped around the cabin considerable, first on one leg and then on the other, holdin’ first one shin and then the other one, and at last he let out with his left foot all of a sudden and fetched the tub a rattling kick, but it warn’t good judgment, because that was the boot that had a couple of his toes leaking out of the front end of it; and down he went in the dirt, and rolled there, and held his toe; and the cussing he done then laid over anything he had ever done previous.” p. 651.

Huck: “After supper Pap took the jug, and said he had enough whisky there for two drinks and one delirium tremens.” p. 651.

Huck: “Everything was dead quiet, and it looked late, and smelt late—you know what I mean—I don’t know the words to put it in.” p. 658.

Jim: “…en I hear ole missus tell de widder she gwyne to sell me down to Orleans, but she didn’t want to, but she could git eight hundid dollars for me, en it ‘uz sich a big stack o’ money she couldnresis’.” p. 666.

Jim: “So I says, a raff is what I’s arter, it doan’ make no track.” p. 667.

Huck: “And Jim said you musn’t count the things you are going to cook for dinner, because that would bring bad luck…same if you shook the table cloth after sundown…he said if a man owned a bee-hive, and that man died, the bees must be told about before sun-up next morning, or else the bees would all weaken and quit work and die…said bees wouldn’t sting idiots.” p. 668.

Jim: “Ef you got hairy arms en a hairy breas’, it’s a sign dat you’r agwyne to be rich…dey’s some use in a sign like dat, ‘kase it’s so fur ahead…maybe you’s gut to be po’ a long time fust, en so you might git discourage’ en kill yo’sef ‘f you didn’ know by de sign dat you gwyne to be rich bymeby.” p. 668.

Huck: “…and then a perfect ripper of a gust would follow along and set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just wild; and next…fst! it was as bright as glory and you’d have a little glimpse of tree-tops a-plunging about, away off yonder in the storm, hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as sin again in a second, and now you’d hear the thunder let go with an awful crash and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling down the sky…like rolling empty barrels down stairs….” p. 672.

Huck: “…he [Jim] said he [the dead man] might come and ha’nt us, he said a man that warn’t buried was more likely to a-ha’nting around than one that was planted and comfortable…sounded pretty reasonable….” p. 675.

To be continued.

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