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: “I put on the sun-bonnet and tied it under my chin, and then for a body to look in and see my face was like looking down a joint of stove pipe…only Jim said I didn’t walk like a girl; and he said I must quit pulling up my gown to get at my britches pocket.” p. 677.
Huck: “So I knocked at the door and made up my mind I wouldn’t forget I was a girl.” p. 678.
Huck: “So she dropped the lump into my lap, just at that moment, and I clapped my legs together on it and she went on talking…you do a girl tolerable poor, but you might fool men, maybe…. When you set out to thread a needle, don’t hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it—that’s the way a woman most always does, but a man always does ‘tother way…and mind you, when a girl tries to catch anything in her lap, she throws her knees apart, she don’t clap them together, the way you did when you catched the lump of lead…. I spotted you for a boy when you was threading the needle.” p. 683.
Huck: “It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn’t ever feel like talking loud, and it warn’t often that we laughed, only a little kind of a low chuckle.” p. 688.
Jim to Huck: “Oh, dang it, now, don’t take on so, we all has to have our troubles and this’n’ll come out all right.” p. 696.
Huck: “…so we struck for an island, and hid the raft, and sunk the skiff, and turned in and slept like dead people.” p. 698.
Huck: “Well, he [Jim] was right; he was most always right; he had an uncommon level head….” p. 699.
Jim on Solomon’s harem and “million” wives: “Mos’ likely dey was rackety times in de nusssery… I reck’n de wives quarrels considerable; en dat ‘crease de racket… dey say Sollermun de wises’ man dat ever live’ …doan’ take no stock in dat…. why…would a wise man want to live in de mids’ er such a blimblammin’ all de time?” p. 700.
Jim on Solomon: “I don k’yer what de widdder say; he warn’t no wise man…. Does you know ‘bout dat chile dat he ‘uz gwyne to chop in two?” p. 700.
Jim on Solomon: “But you take a man dat’s got ‘bout five million chillen runnin’ roun’ de house…he as soon chop a chile in two as a cat…a chile or two, mo’ or less, warn’t no consekens to Sollermun, dad fetch him.” p. 701.
To be continued.