Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The United States of Huck and Tom

In The United States Of Huck, George Saunders interprets Huck and Tom's personality traits into two different representations of the American Character. Tom represents America's large ego and close-mindedness, while Huck represents the hopeful, free-minded America. There are many figures in American society who represent both Tom and Huck. With the campaign for the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election in full swing, Bernie Sanders immediately pops into my head when thinking of someone to fulfill the image of the United States of Huck. In particular, Bernie Sanders' view on immigrants highlights his receptiveness.

Saunders' states in The United States of Huck, "Because Huck believes that other people are real, he also believes in the reality of their suffering..." (202). Similar to Huck, Bernie Sanders has compassion for immigrants and believes they all deserve to pursue their interests and live out "The American Dream." Sanders' quotes "We are a nation of immigrants. I am the son of an immigrant myself. Their story, my story, our story is a story of America: hard-working families coming to the United States to create a brighter future for their children. The story of immigrants is the story of America, a story rooted in family and fueled by hope. It continues today in families all across the United States." Sanders' view on immigrants reflects his hopefulness for the future in America. Unlike other relevant politicians who are more concerned about how immigrants will impact their lives, Bernie Sanders instead thinks of how immigrating to the U.S. will positively impact many immigrants' lives. America is a nation of immigrants, and having open arms will only strengthen the country. If Bernie Sanders is elected as President in 2016, America will hopefully turn into The United States of Huck.


  1. I really enjoy how you quoted George Saunders and Bernie Sanders when arguing your point. Do you believe that because Bernie Sanders represents the United States of Huck, we all represent the United States of Huck? What is your opinion on society as a whole regarding this subject? Do we live in a United States of Huck or a United States of Tom? Personally, though Sanders is a great example of the United States of Huck, I still believe that a lot of society represents the United States of Tom. Though, I believe people like Sanders provide hope for a change. Do you believe Sanders can change the United States of Tom into a United States of Huck? Also, I know you said that you enjoyed Tom as a character in the book, do you think Saunders article does Tom justice? Great post.

  2. @ella I definitely agree! Though there are many people in America who represent Tom's character, I think Sanders does bring hope for the future by representing Huck. However, there is also the pressing reminder that Sanders isn't the only candidate-- Trump represents an equally powerful "Tom" character, which could do just the opposite of Sanders.