Running head: CHARACTER QUALITIES OR FLAWS
Character Qualities or Flaws
Samuel Clemens is a well know author from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. He wrote many books as well as short stories. Two of his most well-known books are Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin. These books and the characters were based on what was occurring at time of the writings, example; the end to the Civil War, and his own life experiences. Some of these characters he admired and some he did not. Still, all of them make these two books a great read to all people. Let us look at some of these characters he portrays in the story of Huckleberry Finn.
The novel of Huckleberry Finn was written at the end of the Civil War, at the time slavery was coming to an end. The southerners did not want to give up slavery as they needed these men and women to attend to their farmland, as this was their main source of income in the south during this time. After this war, Congress amended the Constitution to abolish slavery but this did not hold up in all of the states. This book is written from this time period. The first character to be discussed is Huck himself. Twain has portrayed Huck to be an intelligent and thoughtful individual. A young boy of 13, whose father is a drunk and leaves for months on end, eventually dying, leaving Huck homeless, dirty and hungry. An elder widow takes Huck into her home and tries to reform him; gives him schooling and religious training that he never got with his father. Huck is too set in his ways to stay here and would rather be living on the streets than conform to the rules of the widow. Once again he goes on his own, meeting up with different individuals. Twain fits in with this character as he grew up in a poor family, his father’s investments never panned out the way he’d intended. Secondly, as Twain grows up, he goes out and explorers the world on his own, meeting new people everywhere he turned. Similarities between the man and the character, exampled, Huck travels down a river in chapters 14-16, twain worked on the river boats when he was a younger man. When you’re riding the river, you have a chance to ponder on what you have learned and what society has been teaching. Huck and Twain both “represent what anyone can become, a thinking, feeling human being rather than a mere cog in the machine of society”.(SparkNotes Editors, 2002). Twain and Huck have one more item in common. That is, Huck loses his father to death at the age of 13. Twain was around this age when his father passed on. Jim, who worked as a household slave for Miss Watson is the second character that was admired by twain. Jim is a superstitious, intelligent and practical man. His frequent acts of selflessness, his longing to be with his family and his friendship with both Huck and Tom demonstrate to Huck that humanity has nothing to do with race. (123helpme.com, 2011) Because Jim is a black man and a runaway slave, he is at the mercy of almost all the other characters in the novel. While Jim and Huck are on the river together he becomes like a surrogate father to Huck and a friend. He takes care of Huck without smothering the boy. Jim shelters Huck from the appearance of his father, Pap’s corpse. Twain admires this character as reminds him of the love and sweetness he gives to his girls and wife. They are the ones he could count on that would be there for him, no matter what. Another example; is when Jim runs away from the town. The town’s people think he is a runaway slave, as they do not know Miss Watson let him be free in her will. Just the same, twain escapes to his writing building away from his home to escape so he can write his books and free his mind of interruptions that may arise. I don’t recall too many of the characters in this hear book that he would have admired. He had written of many different folk people to tell a story but that was all. Some...
References: Cummings, M. J. (2011, October). cummings study guides. Retrieved November 3, 2011, from http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides3/Twain.html#Historical
SparkNotes Editors. (2002). SparkNote on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/huckfinn/
123HelpMe.com. (2011) Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn, Retrieved November 3, 2011 http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=40480
Twain, M. (2008). Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York, NY: Signet Classics.
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