Friday, March 3, 2017

Home of the Huck... One Day

The United States Declaration of Independence was established on June 4, 1776, giving freedom to all of the American people, or so you would think. As a whole the country was considered free because they had shipped the British back home to Europe, leaving America to its own development. The development is where America gets questionable. The true freedom in America did not come for another 89 years when slavery was abolished. During those 89 years, many historical events occurred, such as, The Louisiana Purchase, The Underground Railroad, and the formation of some of the first universities in the country. But that is not what is put in the spotlight in the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain.

In this novel, Huck Finn grows up in a poor family with an alcoholic father. Being from a poor family, Huck didn't grow up going to school or having much interest in getting his education. On the other hand, Huck has a friend by the name of Tom Sawyer who is part of a stable family with an immense interest in books and education. They are two completely different people when it comes to how they perceive the world around them. What we are looking at here is a figurative representation of America, both back then and America today. The Huck part of America is the part that goes with their gut and sees everything around them for what it actually is. The other side of America is the Tom side. The United States of Huck goes by what they know is right, rather than what society portrays as right. On this side, The United States of Tom follows the media closely and often don't go with what they know is right.

Sadly, here in the 21st century, especially with all of the forms of media, our country leans more towards being the United States of Tom. America today is infested with hundreds of different outlets of information, and we like to try and keep track of them all at once. Now, that's not to say that no one in our country is on the side with Huck, all it means is the view of Tom is seen more in modern America due to the advancements in technology and life around us. And believing everything the media says is not the only down side to being The United States of Tom, it is also ties into race in America.

During the time that this novel was written, slavery was still in full effect. There is a character in this novel named Jim, and Jim is a runaway slave. Jim being inferior to Tom allows Tom to sort of use him as an object rather than a human being, and Americans today have a tendency to do this as well. People like to do things based on self benefit. In the book we see Tom using Jim as a object in his recreations of his stories. In America today we see people using other humans in order to get what they want in the long term.

All in all, modern America takes the role of Tom in the Novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Although it would be more ideal to have a Huck point of view on life, we are all guilty of having a little inner Tom. Although it would be nice to have the entirety of the nation to have a Huck perspective, it is near impossible. The hundreds of thousands of events that has happened in our nation's history have influence our views on society today. The biggest problem is that society has molded the idea that media is a valid source of information and source of judgement into the brains of people who don't know any better. Because our nation has adopted this ideology, there is almost no chance of us being the United States of Huck.

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