Thursday, January 14, 2010

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (6)

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.


Jim: “Huck, you’s de besfren’ Jim’s ever had; en you’r de only fren’ old Jim’s got now…de ole true Huck; de on’y white genlman dat ever kep’ his promise to olde Jim.” p. 712.

Huck: “Well, then, says I, what’s the use you learning to do right [turning Jim in], when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong [NOT turning Jim in], and the wages is just the same…after this always do whichever come handiest at the time.” p. 714.

Buck Grangerford explaining a feud to Huck: “A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man’s brother kills him, then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the cousins chip in—and by-and-by everybody’s killed off and there ain’t no more feud…it’s kind of slow, and takes a long time.” p. 731.

Buck to Huck: “Oh, yes, Pa knows [who started the feud], I reckon, and some of the other old folks; but they don’t know, now, what the row was about in the first place.” p. 731.

Huck: “Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. …feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” p. 739.

Huck: “…when we got her out to about the middle, we let her alone, and let her float wherever the current wanted her to; then we lit the pipes and dangled our legs in the water and talked about all kinds of things.” p. 741.

Huck: “Once or twice a night we would see a steamboat slipping along in the dark, and now and then she would belch a whole world of sparks up and out of her chimbleys…and by-and-by her waves would get to us a long time after she was gone, and joggle the raft a bit.” p. 742.

Huck: “It didn’t take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn’t no kings nor dukes, at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds.” p. 747.

Huck: “It almost killed Jim a-laughing…the easiest…to laugh that ever was, anyway.” p. 750.

Huck: “And so he [the preacher] went on , and the people groaning and crying and saying Amen….” p. 753.

To be continued.

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