Huck Finn: Judith Loftus

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Huck Finn vs. Judith Loftus

The women presented in the novel so far are mostly smarter than the men presented. One of these women is Judith Loftus. She outsmarts the trickster himself, Huck Finn. Mrs. Loftus is a hypocritical maternal figure.

Up until this point, Huck has been a very good liar. He has been able to outsmart and trick anybody he wants, but not Judith Loftus. He is out of his element during his meeting with her. First off, he is dressed as a girl. This situation makes his get nervous. Second, Judith begins talking about the search for Pap and Jim. Which makes him even more nervous. This nervousness causes Huck to forget his name, saying he was Sarah Williams, then Mary Williams. Judith picks up on this and becomes suspicious. She says things like, “Oh, that’s the way of it?”(69) and, “Come, now, what’s your real name?”(70), to show her suspicions. She really shows her intelligence when she puts Huck through a series of subtle tests, to find out his gender. First, she drops a bar of lead in his lap and he claps his legs together. She says later, “When a girl tries to catch anything in her lap she throws her knees apart”(72). Second, she realized that he throws like a boy, and not stiff-armed like a girl. Finally, she notices that he knits like a man. She says, “When you set out to thread a needle don’t hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it”(72). Mrs. Loftus shows her compassion and caring nature after she has figured out that Huck is a boy. She is not mad, as expected, but rather she offers Huck advice and becomes a sort of maternal influence over him. Even though Judith has these caring thoughts for Huck, she is still for slavery and wishes to see Jim caught. Speaking of Jackson’s Island, she says, “It’s worth the trouble to give the place a hunt”(68) This major contradiction in her character is an attempt by Twain to show how deeply rooted slavery was in the...
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