12 February 2013
Morrison and The Adentures of Huckleberry Finn
In Toni Morrison's essay about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, she discusses the racial problems and the use of the word “nigger” in the book. Morrison talks about the word embarrasses, bored, and annoyed her, but that “name calling is a plague of childhood”. She also talks about how there is a fatherhood issue throughout the book. She talks about how Huck can't settle down anywhere. He is almost afraid to be alone because simple things seem to frighten him. But then when Jim and Huck are together all those feelings of being afraid and lonesome aren't there as much. She kind of refers to Jim as a kind of father/ older brother figure to Huck.
Morrison says, “What does Huck need to live without terror, melancholy, and suicidal thoughts? The answer of course, is Jim”(387-388). Morrison plainly says that Jim is that person in Huck's life that takes away all those feelings and fears. But the problem is both Huck and Jim know that they will soon have to separate from each other because of their white/black childhood friendship. Morrison also says, “Huck's desire for a father who is adviser and trustworthy companion is universal, but he also needs something more: a father whom, unlike his own, he can control”(390). Jim is the perfect person to fill the father position for Huck, because Huck can control him and begin to feel responsible for him. But also, Jim is a “father-for-free” which means they don't have a life long debt that is owed to them like real fathers.
Huck and Jim's friendship is rare for that time period because blacks where slaves to whites. However, even though they are two different races in a time where it is socially wrong for them to be friends, Huck is willing to take a chance on this friendship. It also shows that Huck has an open mind to all possibilities, even its being friends with a person of another race. “It was fifteen minutes...