slavery & Racism
Religion & superstition
by : Taylor Eccles
Slavery & Racism
5 examples of text evidence :
- "Here was a free nigger there from Ohio—a mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain't a man in that town that's got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane—the awful- est old gray-headed nabob in the State. And what do you think? They said he was a p'fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain't the wust. They said he could VOTE when he was at home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to? It was 'lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn't too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I'll never vote agin. I says to the people, why ain’t this nigger put up at auction and sold?” - Pap states this to Huck in chapter 6. Pap makes it clear that he won't vote in a state that allows a black man to vote.
- In chapter 14, Jim says "Well, it's a blame ridicklous way, en I doan' want to hear no mo' 'bout it. Dey ain' no sense in it."
"Looky here, Jim; does a cat talk like we do?".
Jim is confused that people around the world speak different languages because he thinks everyone is exactly the same. If we're all the same though, why are people slaves to others?
- In chapter 14, Huck apologizes to a black man. He states "It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn't do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn't done that one if I'd a knowed it would make him feel that way." Huck is still racist, we know this after this quote. Huck isn't as racist as other people around him in this time period.
- In chapter 8, Jim makes a statement that seems maybe a little sarcastic but also very important to him. He says "Yes—en I’s rich now come to look at it. I owns myself, en I’s wuth eight hund’d dollars. I wisht I had de money, I wouldn’ want no mo’.” Jim says this to Huck stating the fact that he's worth 8 hundred dollars but now that he has ran away, he owns himself.
- In chapter 16, Huck says "Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom. Well, I can tell you it made me all over trembly and feverish, too, to hear him, because I begun to get it through my head that he was most free—and who was to blame for it? Why, me." Huck makes his point that he made Jim free. Jim is just happy to be away from the white folks.
Religion & Superstition
5 examples of text evidence :
- In chapter 3, the Widow Douglas tells Huck about "spiritual gifts". Hucks reaction is "I went and told the Widow about it, and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was “spiritual gifts.” This was too much for me, but she told me what she means—I must help others, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself…but I couldn’t see no advantage about it—except for the other people—so at last I reckoned I wouldn’t worry about it any more, but just let it go." So pretty much, Huck doesn't understand why we should go through life being nice to other people because that doesn't benefit ourselves.
- In chapter 1, the Widow Douglas tells Huck about heaven and what happens after you die. He tells us that she says "Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together." Huck's last sentence tells us that he doesn't want to go to heaven. If I was a thirteen year old boy I wouldn't want to walk around playin a harp all day either so no wonder Huck makes these sly comments.
- In chapter 2 Huck is talking to all his friends about there club and how their going to murder people and rob them. Huck says "Ben Rogers said he couldn't get out much, only Sundays, and so he wanted to begin next Sunday; but all the boys said it would be wicked to do it on Sunday, and that settled the thing." This means that they think robbing and murdering is okay but as soon as Sunday hits, it's bad and shouldn't be allowed. It's funny how boys brains work in this book.
- Again in chapter 3, Huck is lectured by Miss Watson who says if he prays for something he'll get it. Huck's reaction is "Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it. She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it. But it warn't so. I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks. It warn't any good to me without hooks. I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn't make it work. By and by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool. She never told me why, and I couldn't make it out no way." Huck doesn't believe in praying and spiritual gifts. I'm sure Huck believes there is something but I'm not sure Huck even knows what he believes in.
- You see, not everyone believed in religion back then. Maybe because they thought they were better than the thought of a God or maybe they were just jealous of the people who could believe. Pap doesn't allow Huck to go to church. Pap seems jealous of the fact that Huck can go to school and get educated. In chapter 5 we learn Pap's views on church and education in the quote "It's so. You can do it. I had my doubts when you told me. Now looky here; you stop that putting on frills. I won't have it. I'll lay for you, my smarty; and if I catch you about that school I'll tan you good. First you know you'll get religion, too. I never see such a son."
An overall summary
Huckleberry Finn doesn't like the life of church, education, and manners. If it wasn't for Tom Sawyer, Huck wouldn't be able to last a day in the house of Widow Douglas. Everyday seems to go by without a problem till Huck's drunken, worn out father shows up to town demanding money from Huck. The Widow and Judge Thatcher want what's best for Huck and demand custody of Huck, but the new judge in town doesn't want to split up a family even though he has no idea what has happened in the past. A few months of Pap harassing Huck for money, Widow Douglas tells Pap to stay away from her property. Pap gets angry and kidnaps Huck and takes him to his cabin across the river. After weeks of Pap beating Huck, Huck fakes his death and runs away to Jackson's island. On Jackson's island Huck finds Miss. Watson's slave, Jim. Huck learns to understand Jim and Jim learns how to understand Huck. They both become fond of each other and use each other to stay alive. After the Great Flood of Mississippi, they see a house boat floating by the island. In the boat they find a dead man's body and leave as soon as they can. Huck and Jim soon learn that people suspect that Jim is hiding on the island so they are forced to leave the island. They find a raft and ride it down to Ohio because Ohio is a free state. After spending days on the water, they had barely passed St.Louis. They had came across an abandoned steamboat and a gang of robbers. Huck and Jim wind up missing the Ohio river and soon find themselves a group of men who were looking for runaway slaves. Huck lies to the men, telling him that his father has smallpox and that he may have it too. This scares the men and causes them to retreat from Huck. Huck won't leave them alone so the men give him money to get away. Huck and Jim are unable to find their way back to the Ohio river so they continue down river. The night following that, a steamboat runs into Huck and Jim's raft, separating them. Huck finds his way to land and come across a family with the last name of Grangerford. Huck soon learns that the Grangerford's have feud with the Sheperdson's, a neighboring family. An elopement between a Grangerford daughter and a Sheperdson son a gun battle between the two family's occur. The battle kills many, including Huck's friend. While Huck is in the feud, Jim shows up with the fixed raft. They get to the river, without anyone noticing, and float off.