1st Trimester Exam - Essay
In chapter 11 of Huckleberry Finn, Huck dresses up as a girl and goes ashore in order to find out what is happening in his town. During his trip, Huck is forced to lie many times in order to maintain the idea that he is a girl. Once Huck learns that he and his slave-friend Jim are being chased, he quickly makes a decoy in order to “buy some time” for Jim and himself to get away. The combination of Huck’s compulsive dishonesty and his quick thinking reveals that Huck is cunning.
When Huck goes ashore in chapter 11, he enters Judith Loftus’ house. On page 57, Huck accidentally tells Mrs. Loftus that his name is Mary, though he had told her earlier that it was Sarah: “What did you say your name was, honey?”
… “Honey, I though you said it was Sarah when you first come in?” “Oh, yes’m, I did. Sarah Mary Williams. Sarah’s my first name. Some calls me Sarah, some calls me Mary.”
In this passage, Huck accidentally contradicts his original lie that his name is Sarah, telling Mrs. Loftus that his name is Mary. Huck is able to recover, however, and makes it sound like he can be called either Sarah or Mary. This is an example of Huck’s cunning. He is able to quickly fabricate a story that sounds like it is the truth.
We see another example of Huck’s cunning on page 59, when Mrs. Loftus realizes that Huck is a boy. Huck is again forced to lie to Mrs. Loftus in order to protect his true identity. He tells her that he believes that he is in the town of Goshen: …I said I believed by uncle Abner Moore would take care of me, and so that was why I struck out for this town of Goshen. “Goshen, child? This ain’t Goshen. This is St. Petersburg. Goshen’s ten mile further up the river. Who told you this was Goshen?” “Why, a man I met at daybreak this morning, just as I was going to turn into the woods for my regular sleep. He told me when...
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