It’s been two and a half months since I had written my last story “2 weeks of self-isolation”. Now I see that I was kind of optimist when I was writing it. Now I’m a realist and I understand that universities in Russia won’t be open again until the next study year, and now we should hold our exams through the internet (probably via zoom conferences, just like we have the majority of our lessons and seminars).
Today I’d like to write about my other English homework — I will comment on this following quote from the novel “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876) by famous novel writer Mark Twain:
“Huck didn’t have to wash or dress in clean clothes, and he was good at swearing, too. In short, this ragamuffin had everything that makes life worth living.”
So, me and my groupmates as well as our English teatcher Anna Vladimirova have already discussed this quote in class (even twice). Who hasn’t heard about Tom Sawyer and his fellow Huckleberry Finn — an uneducated, superstitious boy, the son of the town drunkard? If you’ve ever read this book (no matter in what language) you definitely know that Huck is a shrewd judge of character. By that I mean that he has a sunny disposition and a well-developed, if naively natural, sense of morality. But let’s take a look at this character not as an idol of freedom for young unsophisticated children but as an idol of natural intelligence for adult readers. Let’s dig deeper in his essence, because we’ve already discussed why Huck is attractive for children up and down. For this purpose, we should add the image of Huckleberry Finn in his own book — “The adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (Mark Twain, 1884) to Huck’s description that we had in the book about Tom Sawyer. The book of 1884 is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi river. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist over 20 years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. This book is more serious that “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” for children (though that book also has some philosophical thoughts for adults).
From the beginning of the novel, Twain makes it clear that Huck is a boy who comes from the lowest levels of white society. His father is a drunk and a ruffian who disappears for months on end. Huck himself is dirty and frequently homeless. Although the Widow Douglas attempts to “reform” Huck, he resists her attempts and maintains his independent ways. The community has failed to protect him from his father, and though the Widow finally gives Huck some of the schooling and religious training that he had missed, he has not been indoctrinated with social values in the same way a middle-class boy like Tom Sawyer has been. Huck’s distance from mainstream society makes him skeptical of the world around him and the ideas it passes on to him.
Huck’s instinctual distrust and his experiences as he travels down the river force him to question the things society has taught him. According to the law, Jim is Miss Watson’s property, but according to Huck’s sense of logic and fairness, it seems “right” to help Jim. Huck’s natural intelligence and his willingness to think through a situation on its own merits lead him to some conclusions that are correct in their context but that would shock white society. For example, Huck discovers, when he and Jim meet a group of slave-hunters, that telling a lie is sometimes the right course of action.
Because Huck is a child, the world seems new to him. Everything he encounters is an occasion for thought. Because of his background, however, he does more than just apply the rules that he has been taught — he creates his own rules. Yet Huck is not some kind of independent moral genius. He must still struggle with some of the preconceptions about blacks that society has ingrained in him, and at the end of the novel, he shows himself all too willing to follow Tom Sawyer’s lead. But even these failures are part of what makes Huck appealing and sympathetic. He is only a boy, after all, and therefore fallible. Imperfect as he is, Huck represents what anyone is capable of becoming: a thinking, feeling human being rather than a mere cog in the machine of society.
That’s all about quotation. Of course I could write more about my life and my emotions now, but since I’ve realized that my stories are probably read by nobody, I have no desire to put in this blog a lot of my feelings and thoughts (maybe only in case if I would read all my stories again someday to remember my first study year in the faculty of International Relations in LUNN).
I’ll see about that, but this is kind of experiment that I want to conduct: I’m asking you, the person who is reading this text, to give me at least any feedback (claps are OK, but I want from you to send me any message in my social media: VK: https://vk.com/stp_brt FB: https://www.facebook.com/stepan.barutkin INST: https://www.instagram.com/stp_brt/ This is the way that I will know that you are exist — the person who is teading this text now.
Thank you for reading and stay healthy, folks! Wash your hands, stay home, stay safe!
See you later in my blog!