Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (8)

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: “We begun to come to trees with Spanish moss on them, hanging down from the limbs like long gray beards…and it made the woods look solemn and dismal.” p. 830.

Huck: “First [the king and the duke] done a lecture on temperance; but they didn’t make enough for them both to get drunk on.” p. 830.

Huck: “I’d see him [Jim] standing my watch on top of his’n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was…and would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was…and then says to myself, ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’—and tore it [the letter to Miss Watson telling where Jim was] up.” p. 834.

Huck: “And for a starter, I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think up anything worse, I would do that, too; because as long as I was in [Hell], and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog.” p. 835.

Huck: “When I got there it was still and Sunday-like and hot and sunshiny—the hands was gone to the fields, and there was them kind of faint dronings of bugs and flies in the air that makes it seem so lonesome and like everybody’s dead and gone; and if a breeze fans along and quivers the leaves, it makes you feel mournful, because you feel like it’s spirits whispering—spirits that’s been dead ever so many years—and you always think they’re talking about you.” p. 839.

Huck: “Phelps’s was one of those little one-horse cotton plantations; and they all look alike…hound asleep there, in the sun; more hounds asleep, round about; about three shade-trees away off in a corner, some currant bushes and gooseberry bushes in one place by the fence; outside of the fence a garden and a watermelon patch; then the cotton fields begins, and after the fields, the woods.” p. 839.

Huck: “I went right along, not fixing up any particular plan, but just trusting to Providence to put the right words in my mouth when the time come, for I’d noticed that Providence always did put the right words in my mouth, if I left it alone.” p. 480.

Huck: “…it don’t make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person’s conscience ain’t got no sense, and just goes for him anyway…takes up more room than all the rest of a person’s insides, and yet ain’t no good no how.” p. 851.

Huck: “It shows how a body can see and don’t see at the same time.” p. 852.

Huck: “…and I see in a minute it [Tom’s plan for rescuing Jim] was worth fifteen of mine, for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides.” p. 853.

To be continued.

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