Huck Finn Journal Entry 5 On February 10, in chapter nine and ten, Huck and Jim have developed somewhat of a friendship. They hide the canoe in a cavern; just in a case there were visitors that had dropped by. Unfortunately, it rains very hard, and the two hide in the cavern. The two find a washed-out houseboat, they find a dead body in the house, the body had been shot in the back. While heading back to the cave, Huck has Jim hide in the canoe, so he would not be seen. The next day, Huck puts a dead rattlesnake near Jim's sleeping place, and its mate comes and bites Jim. Jim's leg swells. A while later, Huck decides to go ashore and to find out what's new. Jim agrees, but has Huck disguise himself as a girl, with one of the dresses they took from the houseboat. Huck practices his girl impersonation, and then sets out for the Illinois shore.
In an abandoned shack, he finds a woman who looks forty, and also appears a newcomer. Huck is relieved she is a newcomer, since she will not be able to recognize him. The two characters share a few important traits in common. One of the most obvious similarities is their confidence in superstition, though superstition was also a part of the society in which they lived, where people thought cannon balls and loaves of bread with mercury could find drowned corpses. The two are from "civilization" and more generally the white upper class world. Of course, Jim's background is much deeper than Huck's. As an African American, he simply is less a part of it. Jim's freedom is endangered by that world; he must hide himself during the day so that he is not taken back to it. Journal Entry 6 Today's Date: 2-18-01 Chapter: 21-25 In these chapters, the use of Shakespeare is funny and tragic. The scene where Huck describes Hamlet's Siloquy to us is comical since its obvious that the Duke has completely confused up the lines. The idea of the King, with his white hair and whiskers, playing fair Juliet also makes a mockery of the plays. In my opinion Boggs death focuses the reader on a serious part of the society. Boggs is shot to death in front of his daughter and with a crowd of people watching. The disrespect shown to Colonel Sherburn is hardly a reason for killing a man directly in front of his own daughter. Twain also makes several pointed comments about the attitude towards blacks when he has Jim talk about his family. Huck comments that he is surprised to find that Jim is almost as concerned about his family as a white person. This attitude, which often is shown to justify breaking up slave families, is an attitude that Huck is overcoming. Jim's story about his daughter Elizabeth, in which he hits her for not obeying him, is an indication to Huck that Jim is in fact more concerned about his children than Huck's father ever was about him. These chapters offer us a great deal of insight into Huck Finn as a person. He is maturing in his views, as shown by his belief that black and white people are not so different. He is also changing from a boy who lacks firm morals to a man with a commitment to values. Journal Entry 7 Today's Date: 2-18-01 Chapter: 26-30 These chapters show the first moments of adulthood for Huck. Up until this point he has followed the authority of those around him, such as Pa, the Widow, Miss Watson, Judge Thatcher, the King, and the Duke. He gets away from this authority the moment that he decides to steal back the money. For the first time Huck is actually acting on his convictions and morals, rather than on his desires and wants. Huck's relationship with Mary Jane shows a rising aspect of his growth, namely his interest in girls. I think as a teenager in there times Huck would act forward girls as an annoyance and not to be taken seriously. With Mary Jane, however, Huck finds new words to describe the opposite sex, including beautiful, and comments that when he sees her light the candle in the window, "my heart swelled up sudden, like to burst'. The final part of these chapters is where Huck is desperate in escaping the King and the Duke by the end. This is not simply because he is scared of them. When they first meet, he compares them to his Pa. Thus for Huck, escaping from these two men is the same as breaking free from his parents. It is not only a desire to escape these men in particular, but also rather as a desire to escape what they stand for, namely authority and control over his life. It is obvious that Jim has dropped out of the action during these scenes. He is instead replaced by the slave family which is torn apart by the King in order to make some quick cash. The fact that Twain places this scene directly after Jim's emotionally chargedstory is clever. Twain was intensely opposed to slavery, and this is one aspectof the institution that he dislikes. Thus Twain is trying to subconsciouslyinfluence his reader every step of the way by directing their emotions. Thestory about breaking up the slave family has much more impact after Jimdiscusses his family, because the reader realizes that Jim ran away to escape asimilar fate.