What Are Hallucinations The word “hallucination” comes from Latin and means “to wander mentally.” Hallucinations can involve hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling and even tasting things that are not real. However, auditory hallucinations (hearing voices or other sounds that have no physical source) are the most common type. Hallucinations are most often associated with the mental illness schizophrenia.
Common causes of hallucinations include drugs (prescription or recreational),stress, sleep deprivation and/or exhaustion, editation and/or sensory deprivation, electrical or neurochemical activity in the brain, mental illness and or brain damage or disease. If a person is having more than one episode, it is recommended that this person should seek evaluation. A general physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist will try to rule out possible organic, environmental, or psychological causes through a detailed medical examination and social history. If a psychological cause such as schizophrenia is suspected, a psychologist will typically conduct an interview with the patient and his family and administer one of several clinical inventories, or tests, to evaluate the mental status of the patient. It is not uncommon for people who are in good mental health to have hallucinations, also.
Hallucinations that are rare or infrequent usually are accounted for by short-term environmental factors such as sleep deprivation or meditation and no treatment may be necessary. Under other circumstances if the hallucinations are interfering with an individuals ability to function, a general physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist should be consulted so that there may be a recommend a treatment plan. In some cased it may not be hallucinations at all but delusions. Chronic cases of hallucinations and delusions typify psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and other delusional disorders. It is important to be precise about this symptom of true hallucinations and not from other symptoms such as nightmares, vision changes, delirium, dementia, and delusions. Delusions differ from hallucinations in that delusions refer to the minds reasoning and thoughts, rather than its sensory inputs.
Treatments for hallucinations vary. Hallucinations that my be symptomatic of a mental illness such as schizophrenia should be treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Antipsychotic medication such as thioridazine ,Thorazine, clozapine , or Risperdal may be prescribed. Hallucinations can be frightening. On some occasions, individuals may see threatening images or just ordinary pictures of people, situations or objects from the past. Some common hallucinations that are reported are feeling a crawling sensation on the skin, hearing voices, seeing patterns, lights, beings, or objects that arent there. It is uncommon for one to have hallucinations related to smell or taste are rare. Though a person may suffer from hallucinations, it does not mean that they can not function in society. It may take some concentration and medication on the persons part but a great example of success it Mr. John Nash. He suffered from schizophrenia with hallucinations. It was late in life however, he did in the end, learn how to ignore his hallucinations.
Discuss and Compare Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes and their poems in relation to Parenthood.
Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath are greatly renowned and intellectual poets. Their life together however was tragic and subsequently reflected in their poetry more often than not. Plath was a depressive and first attempted to commit suicide in 1953, but succeeded on February 11th 1963, after Ted Hughes??™ infidelity, which has later been claimed by many feminist groups to be the cause of her death, leaving Hughes as a single parent to their two children Nicholas and Frieda Hughes. However, they also had one miscarriage in 1961. More tragedy and parenting occurred later on in Hughes life, when his second wife committed suicide and took their child of two years with her. Therefore, both had a great deal of emotion s and feelings to release, which they used poetry to convey, as a means of escapism, much like John Keats, another famous poet who was dying and trying through poetry to escape into a different reality. Both Hughes and Plath therefore enable a deepened insight into parenthood and the fears, animosities and issues surrounding it. Plath more so than Hughes writes about in her poetry, yet likewise to all her poems it always seems to relate back to her own issues and traumas, whereas Hughes usually wrote about nature and feelings, but when he does write about parenthood it is in description of others around himself rather than his own self-importance.
Plath??™s poem ???Morning Song??™ is one of the few poems dedicated to her children, although as remarked before, reverts back to her own issues once again. In this poem parenthood is related to by a Mother addressing and in awe of her new born child and coming to terms with the creation and the mixture of feelings that may occur when confronted with a new situation. She creates these visual images and penetrating emotions through a variety of colourful techniques. There is a clear stylistic structure to Plath??™s poem which puts across the idea of a journey, by using six stanzas of a similar length we see the stages she goes through: Shock/fear of the unknown; A detached sense of awe; Unworthy Mother/Fear of desertion; Metaphorical, loving and peaceful; An adjusted, confused routine; Adoration, love, peace and joy. Likewise to Plath??™s poem ???You??™re??™ it is all about a journey but in a physical sense as oppose to Morning song??™s psychological battle. However, both are tender, charming, gentle and engaging. Plath??™s growing adjustment to the baby is apparent and more humane through descriptions ???Gold watch…statue…moth…cat??™; Alongside this is Plath??™s insight to the mother ???Visitor in museum…cloud…cow??™ here we see Plath take us from a rather ephemeral feel to much more real approach, she creates this change through the use of animals/nature, which can be linked to Hughes and his poetry style, as he communicate thoughts and feelings through the same means, in example, ???The Thought Fox??™ and ???Bull Moses??™. Plath conveys this all through carefully constructed literary techniques. Likewise, to a good deal of Hughes poems like ???The Jaguar??™ and ???The horses??™, in this poem she uses enjambment to make her poem successfully flow and keep pace, upping the tempo and subsequently the excitement. Another way both Hughes and Plath communicate meanings in all of their poems is through either the use of similes, metaphors, Onomatopoeia, repetition or punctuation. Morning song uses a various amount of these techniques, such as, ???New Statue??™-an extended metaphor, which carries on to the next line, the use of this shows how separate and distanced she feels from her babe and how they have not yet bonded or found a connection. This is further communicated as a statue is a cold, inanimate object to be admired, untouchable and fragile, ultimately a precious object just how she feels about Nicholas in this poem after her miscarriage a year before in 1961; proving just how powerful and meaningful just two words can be in the world of Plath. The fragile connotation is further linked and explored and the poem completely summed up by the simile ???The clear vowels rise like balloons??™-Balloons are delicate tender objects that can burst or break easily, but they also hold double meaning as they are a means of celebration and joy but there is also always the fear that you may let them go and never get them back, connecting to a Mothers woes about her spawn growing and claiming future independence.
Plath??™s poems usually emit openly about her emotions and troubles in her depressive, darkened and psychologically unstable mind, this can be supported by her suicide and how she left her two children deserted and alone, begging the question of how much can a woman really love and be attached to her children if she is willing to abandon them However, others may argue that she was meant to be found and she left them with milk to fuel them for the time they were unsupervised. Yet although Hughes may not have been the best husband, he was a successful father, as his son Nicholas is said to have also committed suicide due to his father dying and he could not live on without him. Plath would talk about situations that were absurd or outrageous in her era. For example in ???Daddy??™ she calls all men ???brutes??™ and freely refers to ???Auschwitz??™,??™ ???Jews??™ and ???Not God but a Swastika??™. In ???Fever 103??™ she refers to her internal fires of sexual desire ???The sin. The sin. Darling, all Night.??™ and is an empowering poem, it has also been linked to her and her baby having a fever, ???Who wheezes at the gate??™ which is beyond her comprehension. Whereas in utter contrast, Hughes poems are usually metaphorical, deep and harder to dissect; As though he is refraining his true feelings, wanting to keep his personal life more mysterious and private. There is also the obvious contrast of male and female perspectives and how there poems and parenting styles are opposed due to their sexuality, for instance both of their renditions of ???Wuthering Heights??™ are both entirely different views of the same account, with Plath??™s much more dramatic and Hughes warmer and serene.
Hughes, ???Life after death??™ is a complete juxtaposition to Plath??™s ???Morning song??™, it is a sadistic, angry and mourning encounter and reminisces on Plath??™s suicide and the loss of a person and adjusting to the differences rather than gaining one. Another oxymoron is how he describes his child and her feelings, unlike Plath who always describes her own in relation to the thing or person in question.
Gap Analysis: Huffman Trucking
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, H. Huffman founded Huffman Trucking in 1936 with a single tractor-trailer (Scenario, 2009). Its mission, to be a profitable, growing, adaptive company in an intensively competitive logistical services business environment, was the direct result of World War II and the increased demand for carrier services between factories in the Midwest to ports on the East Coast. With diminishing growth over the past years, the company needs to improve growth and achieve the number one position within the trucking industry. Phil Huffman, CEO, appreciates the hard work of his organization in maintaining this stable trend, but at the same time he is frustrated that the firm has been unable to pull ahead of its competition (Scenario, 2009). To ensure effectiveness within the organization, Huffman Trucking must build a strong internal marketing culture supported by solid relationships between marketing and other departments within the company. A proper evaluation must also be done to determine the organization??™s current marketing strategy and in addition determine the sustainability of the proposed strategy and the overall benefit to the organization.
Issue and Opportunity Identification
Huffman Trucking has experienced steady growth over the years, usually at or just below that of their main competitors (Scenario, 2009). Huffman Trucking currently does not have a marketing program that will ensure what the organization anticipates, meets, and even exceeds the needs of the customers. Huffman Trucking can take this opportunity to develop a marketing program that will help to market its services to customers both new and old in order to improve customer satisfaction. Effective relationship marketing strategies help marketing managers discover what prospective customers needs. According to Kerin, Hartley, Berkowitz, & Rudelius (2006), a marketing program is a plan that integrates the marketing mix to provide a good service, or idea to prospective buyers (p.11).
Huffman has recognized that a variety of more specific customer expectations must be met for different customers since each customer??™s needs varies from each other. Huffman has also realized that in order to improve profitability and to be a viable competitor in the industry, it must do more than break even and be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. Huffman can take this opportunity to prove to its customers they are different by offering a product or service that the competition has or does not offer or by providing secondary features that the customers will appreciate. According to Kotler & Keller (2006), a service is any act or performance that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything (p. 2). Huffman can offer intangible services meaning that the services cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard, or smelled before they are bought. Huffman can provide value-added services or simply excellent customer service to differentiate themselves.
Once Huffman has developed a viable marketing plan the need to be able to implement that plan is very important to ensure that they can in fact achieve their desired goals. Huffman Trucking can take this opportunity to develop a marketing implementation process that will ensure they achieve the goals that have been established in the marketing plan. According to Kotler & Keller (2006), marketing implementation is the process that turns marketing plans into action assignments and ensures that such assignments are executed in a manner that accomplishes the plan??™s stated objectives (p. 22). Huffman Trucking has not evaluated its internal market to determine how they will achieve their goals of improved profitability and improved customer relationships. Looking at its internal market and developing its employees before it can look to deliver its customer-centric plan, is vital in providing good customer service. Huffman can take this opportunity to develop its internal market by recruiting the right people to begin with, by providing employee training, coaching and leadership. A great marketing is great not by ???what it is,??? but by ???what it does.???
Huffman Trucking does not currently have a marketing culture or any marketing plan. In order for all marketing plans to work, the organization must first have a marketing culture that gives employees the support of management and ensures them that their plans will be taken seriously. Huffman can take this opportunity to develop a marketing culture so that all marketing plans decided upon for implementation will have an opportunity to succeed. Every company has a culture and market culture strategies are the most critical factors proven to power successful businesses.
Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
???A stakeholder is any individual or organization that is affected by the activities of a business??? (Business Organization). Stakeholders may have a direct or indirect interest in the business, and may be in contact with the business on a daily basis, or may just occasionally. The stakeholders at Huffman Trucking are stockholders, customers, and employees. Employees within an organization are hired to perform more specific jobs but will need to be trained in order to ensure that they perform to the best of their abilities. Huffman Trucking plans to carry out its mission by assuring that their employees are compensated fairly, are adequately trained and are truly team members in the business processes. Huffman Trucking is committed to its customers by providing efficient, reasonably priced, responsive and competitive services in a customer friendly environment. Customers are valued by Huffman Trucking and the customers value the best service at the most reasonable cost. Stockholders of Huffman Trucking will be made aware of every action and decisions will be questioned and measured to assure it is in the best interest of the stockholders.
Business ethics set the standard for how a business is conducted. They define the value system of how an organization operates in the marketplace and within a business. While there may seem to be clear cut breaches of ethics, many ethical dilemmas that not so clear cut are faced on a daily basis in business. Ethical dilemmas that exists in Huffman Trucking must be resolved if Huffman plans to reach its full potential and arrive at the desired end-state goal of implementing a marketing structure. The marketing team would like to perform their functions at the same time fulfilling the wishes of the CEO. If the marketing team is to implement the new initiative they must first evaluate the organization to ensure that this solution can work within the service industry. They must also do a gap analysis to ensure that the particular initiative can fill the gap that exists within the organization and finally, with the support of management, they must implement a marketing plan that is guaranteed to work. The CEO believes that customer-centricity is an opportunity for Huffman Trucking to improve organizational growth over the next few years. The problem that lies at the root of Huffman??™s troubles is that the organization has decided on customer-centricity to reach it customers without first scanning the internal and external environment of the organization and determining the needs of both the organization and the customers.
The end-state vision for Huffman Trucking is to become an organization that has improved its overall standing within the service industry by increasing sales by 15% above the best competitor and improving profitability by 25% in order to ensure sustainability. Huffman will be number one in the trucking industry and will have successfully implemented a marketing structure that is relevant to both the organization and the customers after careful analysis of the internal and external environment and after determining the needs of both the organization and the customers.
Huffman Trucking at its current state has experienced steady growth over the years, and has implemented a new philosophy that focuses on building a strong internal marketing culture supported by solid relationships between marketing and other departments within the company. What Huffman has not considered is how this will affect the many other aspects of the organization. While the new strategy is necessary in order to address the problem of customer satisfaction and organization growth, the CEO did not fully consider all the consequences and other changes that may need to be implemented. In order for Huffman Trucking to get from its current state of steady growth, customers need to feel valued. Including, but not limited to, placing the customers at the center of the organization, considering the impact on the customer when making major business decisions, and building a strong internal marketing culture. This will help to increase customer??™s satisfaction. As a result, Huffman Trucking should receive much success with its new strategy to increase growth.
In order for Huffman Trucking to have success with its new strategic changes the company is going to have to make some changes in order to increase customer satisfaction and growth. If Huffman Trucking wants to be a model company to its stockholders, employees, and customers, implementing a marketing culture to support by solid relationships with the company will increase customer satisfaction and growth. Management along with the CEO will have to work together to develop a number of strategies to help increase growth and make customers feel more valued within by their organization. This will help the organization to achieve its ultimate goal of increasing growth and satisfying its customers.
Business Organization. (n. d.). Stakeholders and Business Ethics. Retrieved December 20, 2009, from http://tutor2u.net/business/gcse/organisation_stakeholders_ethics.htm.
Kerin, R., Hartley, S., Berkowitz, E., & Rudelius, W. (2006). Marketing (8th Edition). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2006). Marketing Management (12th Edition). Prentice-Hall, Inc.
University of Phoenix (2009). Huffman Trucking Scenario. Retrieved December 15, 2009, from University of Phoenix, Week Four MMPBL/580 Marketing Management Website.
Huckleberry Finn the Greatest Novel Ever
Earnest Hemingway stated that ???All good novels began and ended with Huckleberry Finn.??? What makes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain so unique and worthy of being called the Greatest American Novel would definitely have to be the satire that is used to criticize American Society. Mark Twain uses satire to attack what he sees as the hypocritical view of the Midwestern society. Nothing is sacred to his words especially not slavery, religion or human nature. Twain used satire to show the wrong that he saw in society such as man??™s cruel and inhumane treatment of a fellow man. The best example of this would have to be the way Tom Sawyer is simply toying with Jim clearly seen in ???We see it warn??™t no use we got to go fetch Jim. So he raised up his bed and slid the chain off of the leg (260).??? Here was the perfect time for Jim to escape and no one would get hurt but it was not good enough for Tom he wanted his so called glory which he believed all the authorities needed. What makes things worse is that Jim was free but Tom??™s ambitions took it away similar to The King and The Duke when they sold Jim in the first place. This is where the satire comes in since Tom knew that Mrs. Watson had set Jim free yet never thought of mentioning it to neither Huck nor Jim which shows the idea of white superiority and the inability to let go of such ???power???. This is illustrated when Jim sacrificed his freedom after Tom gets shot by trying to help him and ends up being locked up again even after doing a righteous thing. Jim??™s action can be taken as Twain trying to tell us that African Americans who were looked down upon can end up being as kind as or even kinder than any white. Nowhere however in the novel is the satire of man??™s cruelty to man more predominant than the tarring and feathering of The King and The Duke. In the quote ???Well it made me sick to see it; and I felt sorry for those poor pitiful rascals, it seemed like I couldn??™t ever feel any hardness against them any more in the world. It was a dread to see. Human beings can be awfully cruel tone another (231).??? Clearly demonstrates how Twain felt about that incident. He knew that they were criminals and had stolen from the townspeople but even then he believed that no one deserved such treatment. Through this event Twain points out that not just crooks and criminals have the capacity to be cruel but instead that any human can have thirst for savage and barbaric treatment of others. It is these types of satire that make people wonder how they would be in a situation like that would they be cruel to them also or help them. Twain also pinpointed human nature as well as religion and bombed their defects using satire. This can clearly be seen in the argument between the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons in which ???the men took their guns along??¦and kept them between their knees (109).??? Here Twains embarks against both religion and human nature by making fun of ???aristocratic??? Catholics since they go to church to listen to the sermon and one of the commandments was thy shall not kill yet they walk into the house of God with tools to murder. This shows that people are hypocritical and no longer respect Gods ???word??? like they used to, especially since the sermon was about brotherly love yet later that night the two families are killing each other. Not only that in the quote ???the men run along the bank shooting at them and singing out ???Kill them, Kill them!??™ It made me so sick I almost fell of the tree (116).??? It shows us that man could be ruthless and even go as far as saying man to be the lowest animal. Twain used this satire to illustrate that man has not evolved or is as great as we think we are since we are the only race that kills one another for no reason other than revenge, no other animal kills unless it??™s needed for them to survive. When Huck asks how the fighting started Buck answered that he didn??™t know that not even his father knew which proves Twains point of man being savage and likes violence. The Final example of satire that Twain used to illustrate the flaws in human nature would have to be in the quote ???Greenhorns, flatheads! I knew the first house would keep mum and let the rest of the town get roped in (153).??? Twain goes to satirize human nature through what the town does about the King and the Duke. Instead of running the frauds out of town after the first show in which the people got deceived, the town lets them stay encouraging others to go see the show so that they wouldn??™t be the only ones that got fooled. Twain then shows the length people will go to not appear gullible towards others whether it be a neighbor or a friend, proving with his satire that one would rather take in others rather than admitting that one has been taken in already. Like many great things there are those who go against all of it and believe it to mean something distinct than the majority perceive it to be. Julius Lester is a critique of Huck Finn stating that Mark Twain wasn??™t against slavery rather believed that he was mocking African Americans. This is clearly seen in the quote ???If Jim knew that Ohio met with Mississippi at Cairo??¦why would he continue down the river and go deeper into the heart of slave country (Lester, 3).??? Here Lester is saying that Twain purposely made Jim seem dumb and do the opposite of what he wanted to do as a way to make fun of African Americans making them seem slow and not as smart as White people. I disagree with this idea and the fact of the matter is because if Jim had found Cairo then and there the story would have ended and Huck Finn would never be the story it is today. No Twain intended for them to miss Cairo in order to keep the story flowing, the fact that Jim and Huck continued south was not Twain supporting slavery rather it was him going against it criticizing Southern society as well as Northern Carpetbaggers taking advantage of the Southern people (king and duke). The fact that Jim was aboard the raft was so that one could see the hardships that an African American Slave goes through that is not mocking slaves rather showing things through their perspective. The reason why Twain uses humor and satire is because of the fact that the story itself would be too gruesome and depressing without them. Lester also states that ???What Jim clearly is not is a human being, and this is emphasized by the fact that Miss Watson??™s frees Jim but makes no mention of his wife and children (Lester, 3).??? Well to begin Mrs. Watson could not do anything about Jims family as they were not in her custody, this can be inferred since about the same time Huck and Jim are looking for Cairo and Jims says he will go back and take his wife and kids. Huck begins to feel even guiltier and begins to think of all the ???innocent??? people he will harm by doing so. The innocent people he speaks of are the slave owners that probably own Jim??™s family. As for Jim not being human that can be disclaimed in the quote ???I went to sleep and Jim didn??™t call me when it was my turn. When I waked up just at daybreak he was sitting there with his head down betwixt his knee (155).??? If Jim wasn??™t human why would he mourn the loss of his family It is also this that separates him from comparison that Lester makes of Jim being like the boys in Tom Sawyers Gang. The fact that he feels bad and misses his family shows his responsibility that he feels towards them. None if the other boys believe in responsibility since they are all still adolescence freedom of having to do anything is their paradise. In conclusion I believe that this novel rightfully deserves the place it has in High School English classes today since none of the other novels read in the previous years can compare to Huckleberry Finn in that no other author uses satire to show the defects of society, criticize slavery in a time when slavery still existed and still have intellectual humor.
The controversy for the novel “The Adventures Huckleberry Finn” has a long history. Published in 1885, some people call this book “The Great American Novel”, though others find it to be horrible. It can be debated about why it should be banned and is harmful, but many people go through great lengths to see it taken off library shelves and banned from schools. Youre probably wondering “why is this book such a big deal” Besides the fact that it states the word nigger over 200 times many people find it racist, obscene, includes bad grammar and also has a low moral tone. The main reason for this whole controversy is because of racism throughout the book. This novel was written during the time where racism was “normal” in the south, yet many African Americans get offended by this word. For instance, at Renton High School, in 2003, an infuriated parent objected to her child reading this book because it “offended the familys religious, moral or political sensibilities”, according to Seattlepi.com. The student- Calista Phair- and her grandmother-Beatrice Clark- both dont see the “n” word as just a word. “It carries with it the blood of our ancestors. They were called this word while they were lynched; they were called this word while they were hung from the big magnolia tree” says Clark. They find it to be a degrading word to them as African Americans. “I was humiliated and horrified that this book was being taught, when it has the word nigger 215 times,” Phair said. The “n” word has a huge affect on many African Americans, it has a long history, and not a good one. According to Clark the word “nigger” doesnt change,it will always have the same meaning and it is not educational for kids. As you can see Calista Phair and her family were definitely offended and horrified that they were reading this book at the high school, which is why they fought the school to get it banned. They have had vigorous arguments against the book with the school board, though it was not banned the assignment was postponed. They are no the only people that feel this way, a lot of other people feel this way about this book and mainly African Americans because it was part of their past, such as their ancestors, family etc. A various amount of other people have tried to get this book banned from schools, libraries etc. because it personall bothers them. Another reason why people feel this book should be banned is the language/dialect. This book was written very long ago, so the dialect an grammar is a huge problem and some people think it is “trash”. The dialect in this book is southern so there is a lot of bad grammar like the word “yall” which definitely counts as bad grammar because it is not proper English. Many people believe that it is another reason that it does not teach students anything useful. Parents want the children to be taught useful information, and to a lot of people “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is not useful, which is why it is a never ending controversy.
As I was explaining before the novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a huge controversy. It offends many Americans, but as I also said, some view this as “The Great American Novel”. Freedom of speech is the first of the amendments rights. There may be racism in this book but like I stated before this book was written at the time when slavery and the “n” word was okay in the south. The controversy for why it should not be banned is simple, freedom of speech, which includes being able to read whatever you want or might find useful for you. Reasons why many people get offended has to do with something personal but people should understand that it was written extremely long ago and they cant change the past. We can never forget about the past, so much have changed and people have to look at that. The “n” word is used extremely differently in the modern days, even though back then it was used in a very mean way. I can see why people get offended by the “n” word but its life, if it offends them then they should not read the book and it is not any ones position to say whether the book should be banned or not. I get it if people get mad if it was written recently, but it was not. Its all about understanding and seeing it at a certain perspective. We cat run away from the past, yes the n” word is not a good word but it was a part of this society which is when this book was written. Reading this book is basically learning how people used to speak and treat African Americans, there is not anything wrong with reading it. 1885 was a long time ago, over a century ago actually. Whatever went on back then is not going on now, people have a right to be offended and speak their opinions but they need to realize that the “n” word was used for African Americans, which is why it is used so much in this book. Also since 1885 English language has really advanced, even in the south, and that was the dialect that was used so therefor thats why this novel has such “bad grammar”. Schools, libraries, and people have a right to read this book if they want to. Many people may not believe that this book is useful, but it is and as you can see it really makes us think and want to learn more about the past and be glad that America has evolved greatly. Freedom of Speech is important here in America, and having this book banned is breaking that amendment which is not a good thing. There are flaws in this book, but no book is perfect everyone is going to disagree if a book is good or not. This is just a huge controversy because it includes racism, but as I said it was written in a time of racism and thats what need to be considered in this never ending controversy.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
People often celebrate the mirth and ebullience of youth; however, the dilemmas of youth best frame the struggles of morality. Morals are what someone falls back on when faced with a problem or a difficult decision. Some think morals come from childhood while others feel they are similar to natural instincts. Most often accepted is the theory that morals are developed through real life situations. The innocence and untainted nature of a child is the only valid source of honest morals. In Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, we are introduced to Huck as a distressed, racist boy living a life with little meaning. Despite Huck??™s initial racist nature, we first witness Huck??™s moral development through his interactions with other characters.
Due to Huck??™s young, innocent character, he is forced to mature throughout his dangerous journey. Huck??™s first major wakeup call is when Pap unexpectedly returns. Huck knows his father has come around just to claim his wealth. Pap, an abusive alcoholic, goes on many drunken sprees, and eventually kidnaps Huck and takes him to the forest. There he is locked up in Pap??™s cabin. Huck quickly realizes he is not safe when ???Pap chased me round and round the place with a clap-knife??? (29). Afterwards Huck states that he must ???Rid himself of such an evil presence.???(31) At this point in the novel, Huck truly understands his father is not a qualified guardian and he must escape in order to protect his own life. By Huck deciding it would be best for Pap??™s influence not to be present, he is taking the first big step in his moral development. This is an important moment for Huck because he learns through his own experience what is right and wrong. He also realizes that Pap is not the father figure he needs as a young adult. Huck, laying his fear aside, manages to find a saw and cut a hole in the cabin. This scene in the novel further supports Huck??™s maturity and self sufficiency as he takes matters into his own hands. As he steps out of the cabin, Huck notices his father passed out on the floor with a rifle lying next to him. Huck picks the rifle up and points it at his unconscious father??™s head. By doing this, Huck gives himself the opportunity to change his future and rid himself of one more problem. After pondering the situation, Huck decides not to harm his abusive father. In doing so, one can see the good nature of Huck??™s conscience which he often hides from Miss Watson. Due to the uncivilized nature of Pap, Huck is able to grow from his experiences, strengthening him for his road ahead.
Huck??™s initial perspective of the King and Duke changes throughout the novel, altering his outlook on others. Over the course of the story, it becomes relevant that the King and Duke are obvious scam artists and put on excellent displays of what is bad and unacceptable. In addition, it takes Huck little time to realize their corruption and lack of morals. Their inconsiderate characteristics do not bother Huck at first because he also was a rebel and lacked respect for authority and rules. However, by the end of Huck??™s so-called companionship with these two thugs, he develops a horrible feeling of remorse for even associating himself with the King and the Duke. When Huck witnesses their scandal involving the impersonation of the Wilks brothers he is appalled at their actions. The King and Duke allege to be brothers of a man who has recently passed away with the hopes of claiming his inheritance money. The wrongness of their scam first sinks in, when Huck notices the affect it has on the family. Huck comes across Mary Jane, the sister of the Wilks brothers, mourning the thought that someone would rob them of their inheritance. In addition Huck declares to help Mary Jane and not allow the death of her loved one to be tainted. He goes forth and informs Mary Jane about the scandal. This was hard for Huck to do because the King and Duke reminded him of himself in the past. Furthermore, this was a crucial step for Huck to forget his past and grow on his mistakes. Therefore, Mary Jane proves the King and Duke to be frauds when she asks what tattoo the dead man had on his arm. Mary Jane thanks Huck saying, ???I thank you ever so much I hope we may see each other again??? (242). At this point in the story Huck has matured greatly compared to the Huck portrayed living with Miss Watson. As Huck is boarding his raft with Jim, he happens to see the King and Duke frantically running towards the raft. At this point, Huck was so physically and emotionally overwhelmed, so ???I wilted down onto the planks then, and give up; and it was all I could do to keep from crying (205). By leaving the King and Duke behind, Huck chooses who should influence him, once again taking control of his surroundings. Through Huck??™s companionship with the King and Duke he overcomes his rebel ways and develops concern for others.
Throughout their journey together Huck and Jim develop a unique relationship, similar to that of a father and son. We see an example of this strong bond when Huck pretends to be injured out on the raft. Jim, worried to death becomes frantic only to realize Huck is joking. Jim is greatly upset with Huck??™s humor, showing that he truly cares for his well being. Huck feels guilty for what he has done and says to Jim he would ???Kiss his feet???(143) to make it up to him. The fact that a white boy would kiss the feet of a slave depicts that his racist thoughts are behind him. As their journey together continues their bond only grows stronger. Towards the end of the novel, Jim is captured and enslaved by Mr. Phelps. Although Huck has doubts about contacting Miss Watson, he begins to write a letter alerting her of Jim??™s circumstance. However, when Huck thinks back on all the memories they shared he has second thoughts. Huck remembers how Jim has been like a father to him, helping him along his difficult journey. Huck struggles with the decision to send the letter but concludes; ???I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath. All right, then, I??™ll go to hell??? ??“ and tore it up??? (214). At this moment, Huck finally reaches his epiphany of moral development, because he decides for himself that what others accept is not always right. The socially correct thing for Huck to do is for him to turn Jim in. However, Huck decides that Jim is not only a human being but also his friend; therefore, he will not allow him to become a slave again. Huck with the help of Tom is able to free Jim from the containment of the Phelps family. During the process Tom is shot and Jim carries him back to the Phelps??™s house in search of a doctor. By doing this, Jim gives up his freedom to help a friend. Huck is aware of Jim??™s kind act and says ???He is truly a white man??? (334). With this statement Huck implies that he does not see Jim any differently due to his color. Furthermore, Huck sees Jim as one of his own. Due to the strong bond Huck and Jim hold, Huck looks to Jim as a mentor and further concludes his moral development.
Through his hands-on experiences with people and the presence of Jim, Huck is able grow from a young rebel into a responsible friend. In addition, Huck??™s transformation occurs due to the people around him. Although Pap, the King, and the Duke, may not display a great deal of morals, they open Huck??™s eyes to the real world. Huck at first is a carefree sarcastic boy, until Pap arrives and his priorities are changed. Thanks to the actions of the King and Duke, Huck grows concern for complete strangers. On the other hand, Jim acts as an example for Huck to follow and reflect upon. If Jim had not been able to escape slavery from Miss Watson would Huck have made such a positive change Would he have any morals at all or would he end up alongside the King and Duke
When considering Mark Twains attitude towards slavery, it is important to remember that Twain wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn between 1876 and 1883, after the American Civil War, but the setting for the novel was pre-war. Although Huckleberry Finn is widely considered to be one of the greatest American works of art, it was condemned in terms of slavery by many reviewers in Twains time as coarse and by many critics in our time as racist. In order to come to any conclusions on this matter one must look closely at the different perspectives of slavery that Twain presents the reader with throughout the novel, not only through the slaves themselves but also through societys treatment of slavery.
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain portrays how Southern society accepts, unquestioningly the principle of slavery. Through the character of Huck and his internal debates, we see the conflict between what is morally right and what is legally enforced, and it is through the eyes of Huck that Twain presents the issue of slavery. At the beginning of the novel we see Huck oppressed by the Widow Douglass expectations into conforming, and in some ways one might consider that Huck himself is a slave; to the ideals of society. We learn in the first chapter that Huck is lonely and seeks a less restrictive life through means of escape;
she took me for her son and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldnt stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied.
It is also within this first chapter, that we are introduced to slaves as characters in the novel. Hucks description of Miss Watsons big nigger, named Jim, may imply a racist attitude towards Jim, however soon after he counteracts this by his obvious awe and one might argue; respect for Jim; ..he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country. This obvious contradiction also sets a pattern for the rest of the novel, as we see the inner struggle Huck faces in order to either conform to societys expectations and treat black people in the socially accepted manner, or to follow his heart and treat all people the same; according to how well they earn his respect.
Huck and Jim, as unlikely a pair as they might seem, form a bond through the course of the novel that supersedes friendship, one might
go so far as to say their relationship is almost that of father and son, which may have been the intention of the forward thinking Twain. For a black slave to be the father of a white son, is of course at this time impossible by societys standards, however by presenting the reader with such impossibility, he, at the same time shows how impossibilities can be overcome; does Jim not make for a far more suitable role model than the drunkard Pap And so it gradually becomes clear that the two characters leave the constraints of society behind them and create their own world on the water- it is within this world that the influence of societal values are suppressed in favour of a more logical, practical system of values
Throughout the novel we see how appearance and skin colour is the only criteria considered by society in determining who is afforded rights, it appears that regardless of how immoral a white man might be, he is still afforded more power than that of a highly moral black character like Jim. The fact that Pap is awarded custody of Huck illustrates this lack of logic in decisions made by society. The novel continuously presents the reader with these attitudes through the characters of Huck and Jim and their journeying relationship. Twain takes a calculated risk with the character of Jim, who is a runaway slave in search of literal and figurative freedom from the constraints that society inflicts upon him as a slave, for Twain must have realised the potential power of his writing and still chose to create a character in Jim that breaks all the rules; he is presented as intelligent, analytical, highly moral and yet he is black.
Here one could argue that Twains very willingness to portray such an integral character like Jim, whom the readers will sympathise with, presents an attitude that is undoubtedly anti- slavery, as Gray explains; The book is about the historical injustice of slavery, of course, and the social inequity of racism, the human use or denial of human beings.
However, the novels attitude to slavery is at times ambiguous, mainly due to the fact that it is Hucks story, so we are only to learn his point of view, and are left to interpret the other characters attitudes through Hucks descriptions of their actions. It appears at times that Huck is without prejudice towards his black friend in one instance, as we see in chapter 11 with Hucks anxiety to help keep Jim out of danger, Git up and hump yourself, Jim! There aint a minute to
lose. Theyre after us! However we also see another side to Hucks attitude, as he sometimes sees Jim as a slave, as property that should be returned.
Despite the revolutionary racial equality presented to the reader throughout the novel, it could be argued that racism still plays its part in the overall plot. As we can see when Jim and Huck are separated in the fog and Huck attempts to trick Jim into believing he had dreamt the whole thing, Jim is not happy when he realises what Huck has done and vocalises his displeasure
Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey frens en makes em ashamed It made me feel so mean I could almost kissed his foot to get him to take it back.
It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger…
Written during a time in which racial inequality is the norm, these thoughts of Hucks are fully understandable, though because of Twains presentation of Jim, the reader might well be shocked that Huck could appear so racist towards him. This displays the recurrent theme of Hucks uncertainty over what takes priority; on the one hand he has what his upbringing has ingrained within him in terms of the treatment of slaves, and yet on the other he feels that this is wrong and values Jims friendship. One might suggest that this constant struggle within Huck is what gives the novels attitudes against slavery such strength; the reader is presented with both right and wrong and although one may come to ones own conclusions at some point in the novel, Hucks constant change of opinion will undoubtedly cause questioning. At one point in the novel it even appears that Jim becomes an object to Huck; a piece of treasure, he almost acts as though he owns Jim. For example, when Huck and Tom refer to releasing Jim from Slavery later in the novel they do not see this as Jims actual freedom; Tom Sawyer was in earnest and was actually going to help steal that nigger out of slavery. The use of the word steal here highlights how even though Huck is in fact doing a good deed by Jim, he doesnt actually free him because he stole him, meaning in some small way that Jim is then Hucks property.
And so the arguement may continue…but as a writer Twain holds a certain amount of responsibilty in representing such a historic period in time factually, and in order to create a realistic representation he undoubtedly has to portray racism and slavery how it actually was and to romanticise the subject would not only be unrealistic in terms of story telling, but it would also be an injustice to American History and all those who suffered.
A young renegade, Huck Finn, and a runaway slave, Jim, float down the Misshippippi on a raft, having all manner of adventures.”
Huck Finn is, in my opinion (and in Hemingways also) the greatest novel written by an American. Its trenchant social analysis through the interaction of the persons in the story is breath-taking in its power to open a whole world, one thankfully now gone, where people viewed reality in an entirely different way than we do now. His examination of the Southern culture of Honor is also effective in opening to view the attitude that produced the four bloodiest years in our Nations history. A masterpiece of masterpieces.”
In Mark Twains classic Bildungsroman, Huck Finn, fleeing for his life from his drunken father, Pap, encounters the runaway slave, Jim, and the two become traveling companions. In their desperate quest for freedom, Huck comes to know, admire, respect, and love Jim as a fellow human being, rather than regarding him as just a slave. When he must decide between betraying Jim or (as he believes) consigning himself to eternal torment in hell, Huck opts for the latter course, showing the great nobility of his character. Now, if Huck and Jim can only survive Tom Sawyers plan to liberate the captured Jim, all may end well, despite their many setbacks and the terrible lessons they have learned from the likes of the Duke and the Dauphin, the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons, and the other frauds and villains they have encountered on their raft trip together down the Mississippi River. This novel is a stinging indictment of mans inhumanity to man; at the same time, it is one of the most humorous books ever written
This book picks up where The Adventures of Tom Sawyer leaves off. After Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn get to keep the treasure theyve found, Huck Finn gets adopted by a widow who lives in their small town on the Mississippi River. She invests his money for him. This is going to prove a problem when his drunk father shows back up in town demanding his son and his sons money be turned over to him.
For a time, the bad “Pap” is going to keep Huck locked up in a cabin. When he goes on benders, he abuses the boy terribly. Finally Huck and a local slave boy, Jim, take it upon themselves to run away. They hope to make it all the way up north where Jim can be free.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain, is one of the most important works in American literary history. From the time of its publication in 1884, controversy has surrounded the work. Fortunately, the banning and controversy has not prevented this work from being studied and enjoyed.
In this audio collection, Dick Hill recreates the voice of Huckleberry Finn. He reminds us why this work still presents such a spectacle after all these years. Its simply unforgettable.
Continuation of a Tale
We first met Huck Finn in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” As Huck explains in the first chapter, “You dont know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that aint no matter.” Huck then brings us up to date, letting us know about the robbers and the money.
As Huck lets us know, weve come a long way from his misadventures with Tom Sawyer in that earlier book. As the publisher writes, “Twain took his most outrageous and outcast character (and perhaps the one he loved the most), Huckleberry Finn, from the book and wrote his own Adventures.” And, this time, Twain creates many more obstacles for Huck to overcome, with dangers like drowning, being tar-and-feathered, and being shot ever at hand.
Twain already sets up his book to be converted to audio when he explains the various dialects: “In this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary Pike County dialect; and four modified varieties of this last.”
Twains wonderful sense of language allows us to hear some of the flare each dialect offers. And, without hearing some semblance of the “real thing,” its often difficult for students of this novel to understand the plot and dialogue. With its more dynamic format, this collection leads students to a better understanding of the language and context. While not replacing the book, it offers a great addition to the study of Huck Finn.
Why This Book Why Now
Of course, Ive heard it before, and Im sure Ill hear it again. Students (and other readers, as well) cant understand what the big deal is with “Huckleberry Finn.” Hes a 14-year old boy, who is abused by his father until he runs away from home, setting the scene so theyll all think him dead. It doesnt sound like a terribly important story, nothing far-fetched. And, with all of the controversy surrounding the book and the objectionable language contained in this book, some people may well wonder why the book wasnt completely destroyed long ago.
Theres just something about this book that has captured our imaginations for all these many decades. Perhaps, thats part of the reason the book has been considered so dangerous… Huck Finn has provided entertainment to thousands, if not millions, of children and adult s from all over the world. Hes a rapscallion, but we cant help but like and remember him.
The book is also a definitive addition to the development of the novel in America literature. Like James Joyce and so many other authors in literary history, Twain helped redefine the writers voice and his words and works have dramatically influenced writers who have come since.
Now, this audio collection offers another look at the novel, a way for us to listen to it all over again, to appreciate the the flow of language, the humor, the tragedy, and the triumph of Mark Twains most famous work.
Holly??™s Answer to DQ 3 Exercise
Use the source information and the paraphrase portion of your Exercise 2 assignment to create citations in the Center for Writing Excellence Citation Generator. Save the paraphrase and citation as a Microsoft Word document and submit it to the Center for Writing Excellence Plagiarism Checker. After submission, post a 150- to 300-word summary of what you learned from using these resources and how you can use them in the future.
According to De Janasz, Dowd, and Schneider? (2002), making decisions is an important skill one uses in everyday life and in business. Making good decisions is an effective tool to have when managing a company. When one makes good decisions there are fewer problems to deal with later. The ability to make simple and complex decisions helps individuals to move through life while avoiding possible problems in the future (De Janasz, Dowd, & Schneider,? 2002).
De Janasz, S.C., Dowd, K.O., & Schneider, B.Z. (2002). Interpersonal Skills in Organizations. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill.
When I submitted my paper I ran it through WritePoint and the Plagiarism Checker. I found that I had made some grammatical errors in my paraphrased material so I changed it. The result is a better sounding piece of work that has been downloaded and copied above in APA format. I am amazed at the accuracy of WritePoint and the value that it gives me as a student. It makes my educational papers sound and flow better. This will help me to obtain a better grade on my assignments. As for the turn it in report it came up as 15%: According to De Janasz, Dowd, and Schneider (2002), making was 10% and came form http://jishkaha.com. The other 5 %? was (De Janasz, Dowd, & Schneider, 2002) and came form http://www.bignerds.com But none of it was plagiarized because it was correctly cited. I liked the fact that it shows you the percentage of plagiarized material along with the source. If you have the correct source it can help you cite properly. This also shows the parts of your paper that need to be changed before you turn in your paper. This will help you stay away from plagiarism. That is the point of this workshop.
Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn many characters express their own brands of faith. Whether it is the Grangerfords??™ typical church going Christianity, Jim??™s wild superstitious beliefs, Tom Sawyers loving belief in himself, or even Pap??™s faith in the bottle, everyone finds a way to show their own unique style of religion. Huck Finn though he does not appear to know it, is one of the most religious characters in the novel devoting himself to the Mississippi river rather than a man like deity.
Religious people often turn to their faith in times of trouble, praying in order to focus their thoughts and bring themselves closer to the answers they seek along with an illumination of which path they should take. Huck uses his deity in much the same way. When he decides to flee from Pap he escapes onto the river, which offers him shelter as well as a way to avoid being tracked, while also leading him to the answers he needs in the form of Jackson??™s Island and more importantly Jim. Many times during the rest of the novel Huck and Jim make forays onto land only to return to the river when the realization is made that life off the river is far too complicated, much like a man coming back to God and the sought after innocence of faith after realizing he has been going astray.
To have faith in anything takes trust and nothing trusts quite like innocence. Huck shows great cunning beyond his years when backed into the many corners he finds himself trapped in, but out on the river Huck shows his faith through his innocence. Huck and Jim spend most of their time out on open water in the nude, which seems to disturb some at first. Upon closer inspection however it becomes apparent that this is just another part of Huck??™s religion. The river in some ways plays the role of a sort of Garden of Eden, allowing Huck to worship and be completely free at the same time in a state of total innocence though at the same time never forgetting to keep an eye out for the river??™s fickle moods.
Every religion has tales of the faithful attempting to deal with the sudden fury of their god. Often only the truly faithful are left after such a fit of rage. Huck proves to be a true master of his religion as the river??™s fury seems to refuse to destroy him. In most cases it seems to protect him either by ridding the world of those who wish to harm him or by teaching him a lesson. The first is the flood that brings the house down river in reach of Huck and Jim, which not only gives them the supplies they need to continue on, but also rids them of Pap who was Huck??™s most dangerous enemy. At another dangerous time on the river it decides to claim a group of unfortunate robbers instead of Huck and Jim. The most important event caused by the river??™s ever changing moods being his separation from Jim. Huck??™s cruel practical joke shows the reader, as well as Huck, the scope of the relationship that has developed between the two. The reason these events are important is that in order to define a man as religious one must look not only at which characteristics of a religious man the subject in question matches but also how the characteristics of a religion match him.
Huck shows his faith for the river through his familiarity and love for it. Huck has come as close to mastering the river as a man can come. Huck would not want to fully master the river; he sees it as a beautiful thing. Huck shows he is capable of using just about every type of boat used on the river, just like a man knowing his bible verses. Through many different methods both Huck and the river itself show that Huck Finn is very religious individual, and is possibly the most religious out of all the other characters. While some may mention their beliefs in passing Huck stays with his god throughout most of the novel, worshipping his deity in a way that only one who truly loves the river can understand.
IMAGINE THAT YOU are a black teenager at a predominantly white school. Imagine that your English teacher is also good at his or her job. Your teacher will tell you right off the bat that Mark Twain was not a racist; that his masterpiece is a story of reconciliation between the races; that the story of one white boy and his friend??”a runaway slave??”journeying down the Mississippi on a raft is filled with irony, a riveting narrative, and the revolutionary use of dialect. The teacher may even tell you that Ernest Hemingway, in Matrix-speak, spoke of it as the One book out of which all American literature poured, while Faulkner, not to be outdone, called all of us Twain??™s heirs. You take these glowing accolades with a grain if salt. What do dead white male authors know about your particular situation in this particular class
Your teacher will also prepare you for the N-word, which will appear over two hundred times in the novel. The teacher will say that its repetition is understandable within the historical context of the novel. He or she will then set down some guidelines about how??”or if??”this word will be used in class discussions, read-alouds, or in papers or journals (quoting the text). The novel, you are also told, will be supplemented by material on slavery, since, in your teacher??™s words, ???Huckleberry Finn deals with the true horrors of slavery about as much as it deals with the juice of huckleberries.??? You can tell that your teacher is trying to lighten the atmosphere and be sensitive to the needs of all students. Your teacher may even say a few words about the problematic portrait of Jim??”since Twain, you are informed, doesn??™t deal honestly with black characters in this particular novel.
Then you will read the novel with your classmates, and you quickly discover that your teacher was right about what he said.
From the moment Jim is introduced in the beginning of Chapter 2, Twain stereotypes blacks and feeds the fantasy-vision that many whites have of themselves as superior. Your teacher tries to deal with these stereotypes head-on, but lines were drawn in the sand way before this class began back in September. When Huck ducks below Miss Watson??™s kitchen window and Jim speaks his first line, ???Who dah??? the white kids in the class immediately side with Huck, the thirteen-year-old protagonist-narrator, because he??™s clever, cocky, and he looks like them. But you have a dilemma. You don??™t side so easily with Huck. Jim, on the other hand??”Twain??™s other ???hero?????”shares your skin color but he??™s so stupid, naive, and subservient that you can??™t believe that your school actually wants you to keep reading.
Worse, your edition contains all of the original illustrations, which are patently racist by today??™s standards. Jim has big lips, big eyes, and bear-like features. In every illustration he is groveling, tending to sick whites, ridiculously faithful, with no sense of self. Your teacher guides the class through a lesson on stereotypes and stereotyping, but all you feel is irritation: When was the last time your white peers read a ???classic??? that stereotyped their kind??”even if part of a broader benevolent mission??”and then, in a predominantly black class, had to talk about it for forty minutes
Perhaps it??™s a good thing that your teacher doesn??™t know the little-known historical fact that Twain paid $1,200 dollars to E. W. Kemble, a twenty-three-year-old white illustrator from New York, to produce the drawings. Twain recalls: ???This [final] batch of pictures is most rattling good. They please me exceedingly.??? Kemble explains: ???I used [a white schoolboy to] model for every character in the story??”man, woman and child. Jim the Negro seemed to please him most. He would jam his little black wool cap over his head, shoot out his lips and mumble coon talk while he was posing. Grown to manhood, ???Huck??™ is now a sturdy citizen of Philadelphia, connected with an established business house??? (Kemble 18). You bet he is. (He probably still is.)
And then there??™s all that supplemental reading about slavery. You pray that your teacher does not ask you to speak for your entire race??”or, when someone does speak up about Jim??™s naivete or ignorance, the eyes don??™t all turn to you.
Even if you make it to Cairo, Illinois (Chapter 15), with Huck, Jim, and the syllabus intact, you find it incredible that Jim continues to sail south down the Mississippi after missing the only chance he knew for freedom: a few paddle-strokes east to Illinois, or northeast up the Ohio River to Iowa (toward free states). If your teacher is honest, he or she will tell the class that there is no explanation for this insidious plot twist, which treats slavery like a walk in the park.
When a white girl in the front row suggests that Jim continues sailing south (deeper into slave territory) to protect and aid poor Huck, you wince but keep your mouth shut. When the teacher tries to elicit some responses from the class, you try to keep below the radar screen.
The N-word keeps piling. You??™ve stopped reading, however, relying instead on the relative anonymity of class discussions and instincts you??™ve honed from countless experiences as a black kid navigating through a predominantly white environment. Your school has tricked you: Either you read this novel word for word, suffering a profoundly distasteful complicity in the process, or you fail.
In the final chapters of the book, things go from bad to worse. Jim reappears in the narrative and you learn from your periphery in class discussions that he has become a rag-doll for Huck and Tom??™s ludicrous escape plan, which involves Jim enduring a whole summer on the Phelps??™s plantation in an unlocked shack that bulges with rats, spiders, snakes, and eventually a ???prisoner??™s??? pie stuffed with candlesticks and a rope-ladder. You can??™t believe Twain actually wants any reader to think that any man would indulge two white boys even one item in this long list of indignities (which, your teacher explains, is part of the irony).
What takes the cake is when Jim comes out of hiding to rescue Huck and Tom (who has been shot in the leg)??”thus giving away another chance at his freedom??”but making white readers feel good about themselves by breathing new life into the old stereotype of blacks as totally passive, child-like mentors.
Had Twain even employed a hairball??™s worth of historical accuracy to this story, the nearest tree and the nearest noose would have been Jim??™s ???reward??? in lieu of the freedom that Miss Watson, incredulously, grants Jim before she dies. Has everyone forgotten that Jim, a runaway slave, is still wanted for the murder of Huck, a white boy (the ???staged??? truth of which is known only to Huck and Tom) From your perspective, things just don??™t make any sense in this novel.
Jim should have put an end to Twain??™s antics hundreds of pages ago by putting a bullet in Huck??™s head??”or the author??™s??”and jumping ship. (At least you read the Author??™s Notice.) But of course, this isn??™t a Stephen King novel. You wonder if your white peers have learned anything from Huck??™s adventure. It is a journey you??™ve been on many times before, though you??™ve never read the text.
THERE??™S A CHILD in another class who has read the entire text. As an adult, she recalls: ???Fear and alarm are what I remember about my first encounter with [Huck Finn]. My second reading of it, under the supervision of an English teacher in junior high school was no less comfortable??”rather more. It provoked a feeling I can only describe now as muffled rage, as though appreciation of the work required my complicity in and sanction of something shaming??? (Hilton 64).