Based on the first chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, I was able to relate to Huck’s feelings of feeling out of place or rather his feelings of being required to conform. The social demand to conform to ideals is something that most can sympathize with, at one point or another in their life, “But I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally shes going to adopt me and civilize me, and I cant stand it. I been there before”(Twain, 1885). Huck finds himself being required to adhere to manners, religious practices (such as attending church) and other actions contusive to being of upper class during the time period in which the piece is set.
This particular novel was not so much amusing to me as it was insightful in the sense that I was reminded of a time not so long ago, when individuals were harshly judged based on the color of their skin and were enslaved against their will. I was also saddened by Huck’s abusive at the hands of his father pap to the extreme that Huck had to fake his own death in order to spare himself further or worsening abuse. No human being should be subject to such terms at any time. These were not the only sad or disturbing aspects of the book. It seems as though Huck was either judged, abused or rejected by everyone in his life until he met Jim. Jim is the highlight of the book as he shows Huck the spirit of true humanity and kindness. This aspect of the piece especially, made me realize how much Twain was utilizing this novel as an allegory for humanity and all of its flaws. The least expected individual (by the characters in the novel) was in fact the true hero of the piece along with Huck himself who comes to know true kindness and companionship in antoerh human being.
The connection between this book and real life is so multilayered that one can derive a great deal of life application from it. On one level, Huck is somewhat made to conform by the widow, just as we all have felt at one time or another within society or even within our families or friendly circles. Another layer, and on a much deeper level, the abuse from one as close as a father is not something unfamiliar to far too many human beings in today’s world. Finally, the finding of a cherished relationship with Jim amounts to a lesson which we can all learn from. This lesson is that by rejecting others based on the color of their skin or other superficial differences that we all have, we run the risk of missing out on possibly the most meaningful relationship or connection of our lives.
I feel that this piece was entirely believable as their was no one aspect which appeared over the top or unrealistic. The reason for this is in the fact that this story is so close to the lives of so many. This novel is simply put, multilayers of humanity and the realization of not only that humanity but what truly matters in life. Jim manages to instill his wisdom into Huck, through superstition and ideas which initially seem far fetched. In the end, Huck learns that Jim is indeed wise though unconventional, very credible. This aspect of the ending was happy in my opinion, as ultimately, Huck learns that society’s ideals as taught by the judgmental widow, are relatively meaningless and shallow in the reality. It is the seemingly false wisdom of Jim that truly materializes as truth.
In answering the question, of whether or not there is more to tell, there is always more to tell. One could take the piece by Twain and resurrect the weathered Huck into a man of great wisdom and kindness. Through his trials and learning experiences, perhaps he could spread the spirit of accepting others regardless of their race, to others and experience more of the twists and turns that life has to offer.
Blair, Walter (1958) “When was Huckleberry Finn written”, American Literature vol. 30 no. 1. Duke University Press
Roberts, Gregory (2003) “Huck Finn – A Masterpiece or an insult?”, Seattle Post, retrieved from website at: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/149979_huck26.html
Twain, mark. (1885) “The Adventures of huckleberry Finn”