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- 1. Twain used humor in developing most of or all of his characters. Whenever he did use humor it usually revealed a very big characteristic about the character we can come to expect from them. This is used in the main characters and side characters. There are some very big examples throughout the book.
- One example of Twain using humor to develop his character is with the Duke and the King. When we first meet them in Chapter XIX we can see they are obviously not good people. This is even more obvious when they give their story explaining their origins. You can see the King attempting to state that he used to be the king someplace but was no longer anymore. He attempted to gain sympathy from this and it appeared to work somehow. So the Duke did almost the exact same thing in a humorous attempt to get the same treatment as the king. This shows they are both people who will do anything to make their lives better. This characteristic about them proves to be right later on when they go from town to town pretty much conning their way to fortune.
- Another example of this is in Chapter II. The humor in this chapter helps develop the character of Jim and Tom Sawyer. When Tom and Huck are hiding in the bushes but Jim thinks he hears something so he sits on a tree right besides them and waits. This leads to Huck not being able to move at all until Jim falls asleep. Then Tom steals Jim’s hat and moves it somewhere else to mess with him. That shows how Tom likes to mess with people and be known. When Jim wakes up he accuses witches of moving him and stealing his hat which shows how gullible and uneducated he is.
- 2. Pap Finn can be seen as an archvillain because he is the whole reason Huck and Jim’s adventure happened. Without Pap Finn it would kind of just be Jim’s adventure. Pap Finn caused Huck to run away by being a nuisance to Huck by beating him and almost trying to kill him at one point. Pap Finn is also the reason Huck has to fake his own death just to get away from him and never be able to go back. He is just that annoying to Huck. If that is not bad enough he also tries to steal all of Huck’s own money. You can also tell that Pap Finn is an archvillain and this money is important to Huck because at the end of the story Huck says, “...and I says, all right, that suits me, but I ain’t got no money for to buy the outfit, and I reckon I couldn’t get none from home, because it’s likely pap’s been back before now, and got it all away from Judge Thatcher and drunk it up.” This shows that Huck still cares about that money since he mentions it after so much time. Thinking his dad took it all from him when he really didn’t. Without Pap Finn though, Huck would’ve never had to go such a way up the river and have his adventure with Jim. This is a main thing that makes him an archvillain.
- 3. The way Twain uses vernacular throughout the book goes with the time period very well. Huck provides some good examples from this and so do a few ordinary characters throughout the story. How they talk is very fitting for the time and make the story seem more realistic. A good example of this is in Chapter XI when Huck has a chat with a random person from that time. When they are chatting about Huck’s murder she say, “Most everybody thought it at first. He’ll never know how nigh he come to getting lynched. But before night they changed around and judged it was done by a runaway nigger named Jim.” The way she talks here and her choice of words shows well how they talked in that place and time. The way she structured the first sentence there shows it too. When she said “Most everybody thought it at first.” The way this was structured is very different than it would be now. This person is a good example for vernacular because she seemed to be just a normal person in town with no weird upbringings or anything that would affect how she talked.
- Another example of Twain using vernacular to create realistic characters is with Huck. Throughout the entire book Huck uses words and talk like someone would around that time. A good example is in Chapter XXXVI when Huck says, “As soon as we reckoned everybody was asleep, that night, we went down the lightning-rod, and shut ourselves up in the lean-to.” This makes Huck seem more realistic because it sounds like something somebody with his origins and from the time period would say.
- 4. Twain’s characters show superstitions, ignorance, and wisdom to satirize american society. A good example of him showing superstitions are in Chapter II when Jim thinks witches are what caused his hat to move. This shows superstition because Jim shows a strong belief in something that is probably not real. Another example of superstitions are in Chapter XXXIV and nearly the whole ending of the book with a servant. Anytime the black servant thinks they hear something Huck says he heard nothing and the servant blames the witches for messing with his head.
- A good example for ignorance is in Chapter XIX where we meet the king and duke. The reason you can see ignorance in this chapter is because Jim seems pretty fooled by them saying they are kings and dukes in this chapter. Huck thought about telling Jim but thought it was best not to make trouble and just make them happy.
- Being wise is the ability having experience, knowledge, and good judgement. This is shown in Chapter XXV when the doctor accuses the king and duke of being frauds. He is not believed though and shied away. He knew that these men were not really the dead person’s brother showing good judgement and knowledge. This also shows ignorance by almost everyone else there because they believed it even after being told by someone much more intellectual.
- The most clear way he would seem to be satirizing american would be by making the blacks in this book much easier to trick or fool. This is shown by Jim and a few other servants being fooled or convinced witches exist a lot in the book. While the older people seem to have more knowledge such as the king and doctor. This satire does not still hold true today because slavery and segregation have largely been abolished. People like Jim and the other servants would be more educated today.
- 5. Twain uses The Mississippi River as a character through symbolism and how it acts through the story. The Mississippi River is what Huck and Jim rely on through the whole story. It is a transportation method from where they are now to freedom. It is their plan from one point to the next. You can see it this way or you can see it as what guides them through the whole plot. Without the Mississippi leading them wherever they go who knows what would have happened. The Mississippi was supposed to lead them to The Ohio River which would lead them to their wanted destination symbolizing freedom.
- The river leads them to where it chooses and they are at its will. It affects what kind of encounters they face through the whole story such as where they encountered thieves. They also probably also would not have encountered the Duke if the river did not guide them wherever it wanted. The Mississippi River determines the whole story by directing what happens as kind of like a supporting character. It never talks or shows feelings or anything but it directly impacts the plot in various ways. It also is what Jim and Huck use to get to freedom.
- 6. The Shepherdson-Grangerford Feud is similar to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by them both including a very similar plot that makes the feud much worse. Then they are similar by at least someone dying when it is shown. They are different by the lovers actually living in this feud and by by there not really being any peacekeepers in this feud we can see.
- To start the similarities we have what makes the feud worse. Two members of opposite families fall in love and want to get married. However, they cannot because of the feuding families. In this story it is Harney and Sophia and in Romeo and Juliet it is Romeo and Juliet. Then someone dies in both stories. In Romeo and Juliet the big death is Mercutio but in this story it is Huck’s friend Buck.
- The differences are in the feud in this book the two lovers do not have to take their own lives and actually get away together. In Romeo and Juliet though the two lovers die and do not live very happily in the end. In this though the love is a success. The other difference I see is in the Romeo and Juliet feud there was some sort of peacekeeper trying to stop the feud. In this feud however, there is no peacekeeper trying to stop it. There are many more lives lost and nothing to stop all of it.
- 7. Jim is shown to be a father figure for Huck at many points. Through the book Jim slowly becomes what is to be a role model or father figure for Huck. This is most obvious on page 161 when Huck says this about Jim, “But somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no places to harden against him, but only the other kind. I’d see him 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 such-like times; 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 at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world…” This part summarizes almost everything Huck thinks of Jim. Huck used to think of Jim as just some random person when he first found him but agreed to travel with him as they would need each other. By the end though Huck sees all the good in Jim and cannot see anytime he has really done wrong to him.
- Jim is always looking out for Huck is a good reason he becomes a father figure. An example of Jim looking out for Huck is when they enter the floating house he does not want Huck to see the dead body inside. The reason is revealed later and that is because it is Huck’s father. This shows that Jim is always looking out for Huck and it is possible Huck notices it when Jim does not let him see the body.
- Another point at which you can see how Jim becomes a father figure for Huck is during the countless moments where he at least tries to provide wisdom for Huck which makes him far more trustable. At the beginning of the novel these points of wisdom are everywhere and show how is trying to give Huck helpful pointers. Such as when he predicts it will rain because of birds or how to not touch snakeskin. These all show how he attempts to give helpful pointers to his friends.
- A final example which shows how Jim becomes a father figure for Huck is at the very end when he earns Huck’s and everyone’s respect. He does this by helping the doctor save Tom Sawyer from a gunshot wound. Jim did not have to do this at all and it just shows how much he cares about other people and Huck’s friends. These kinds of acts by Jim are what make him a father figure to Huck.
- 8. Throughout the story Huckleberry Finn begins to think less of Jim because of his color. At first he saw Jim as just escaping and not wanting to be sold away. However, as the book progresses Huckleberry Finn has to choose whether to turn Jim over to the authorities or let him travel with him and have his freedom. This is where Huckleberry Finn starts to have a moral struggle with slavery. He has been taught all of his life that black people did not deserve all this special treatment or freedom. This made him question why he was helping Jim when he thought the right moral thing to do was turn him over and get the rewards or just give him back to his rightful owner. One of the clearest examples of him questioning this is on page 160 where Huck says, “And at last, when it all hit me all of a sudden that here was the plain hand of Providence slapping me in the face and letting me know my wickedness we being watched all the time from up there in heaven, whilst I was down here stealing a poor old woman’s nigger that had ever done me no harm…” This shows that Huck feels guilty for protecting Jim for so long and not giving him back to the woman who he thinks rightfully deserved him. Another point in the novel where he questions whether he should turn Jim over is when Huck has to act like Jim is his father and is sick so he can pass on by. At this point Huck questions whether it would be right just to turn Jim in or not. So in short, Huck was raised to think that black people are meant to be slaves and lower class and still has that in his mind yet also thinks that Jim should have his freedom at points.
- Huck finally decides that Jim should be set free. His final decision for this is because he could never feel like Jim had ever wronged him in any way. It is really the other way around. Jim was always there for Huck and was a great friend to him. This causes Huck to think that he would steal Jim out of slavery again. Jim should be set free according to him for all the good he has done for him. It never really says what Huck’s conclusion is about slavery as a whole but you can interpret it pretty well from him saving Jim and not caring about going to hell for it. Huck also says, “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…” This shows that Huck does not care at this point and would just do whatever he feels was right.
- 9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn can be described as an American odyssey because it is a journey throughout America. An odyssey is thought of as a long journey which usually has changes of fortune or an eventful journey. This novel fits both of these definitions because of the rise and falls of the characters luck and because of how long it took to finally earn their freedom. They had to travel all throughout America to get it and experienced setbacks like Jim being trapped near the end and missing their way to freedom around the by the Mississippi River because of fog. The trip spanned across a great deal of America at that time which can make it an odyssey.
- It started in a town south where Huckleberry Finn faked his own death to escape from his father and Jim escaped to not be sold to a plantation. They travel the Mississippi together until they get held up and lost from each other. Huck finds himself at the house of a family in a feud and gets caught in it. Then he escapes and travels with Jim some more until they find some con artists who help them make money until they end up being caught. Jim gets sold to a slave owner and Huck and Tom Sawyer break Jim out and earn their freedom. That all spanned across a good deal of America and as you can see it had many ups and downs making this described as an American odyssey.
- 10. Both Huckleberry Finn and Jim are free at the end of the novel’s conclusion because both bars set on them are gone. Jim no longer has to deal with being a slave which was why he was planning to go north. His former owner died and set him free in her will and that makes him a free man which is what he always wanted. Huckleberry Finn is free at the end of book because he will no longer have to worry about his father anymore which was his reason for running away. He wanted to get away from his father for just the fact he was locking him in alone and beating him. You can tell he did not like his father because of what he says on page 18, “But by-and-by pap got too hand with his hick’ry, and I couldn’t stand it.”This is why he escaped in the first place and ran away. His father also tried to steal his large sum of money and he could not get it anymore. This made him free from the burdens of dealing with his father. Huck is also free at the end because he is free from being seen smuggling a slave up north since Jim is now a free man.
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