Thursday, March 2, 2017

Huck vs. Tom

In the book "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", by Mark Twain, the main character Huckleberry Finn goes on an adventure and has a life changing journey that will change the way he sees people forever. Huck travels with a runaway slave named Jim and learns a lot about the difference between what society teaches you and what life is actually like. Huck learns that Jim, a slave, is an actual person and not some toy he can use and play with whenever he wants. Huck learning this also shows that if Jim is like this then all slaves must be like this. They have families, friends, feelings, and emotions. They're more than what people say they are they're real human beings. This causes Huck to have a constant serious identity crisis and he debates quite often whether or not he should turn Jim in or help Jim escape to have his freedom. Eventually Huck says screw it if me helping Jim escape is the wrong thing to do then I don't know what is and this is the point of the book where Huck finally finds himself and does what he knows is right from wrong. Huck's character is all about caring for one another and helping someone in need of help regardless of your self interest or not.

Later in the book though there is a character we meet named Tom who is actually Huck's best friend. Tom is an interesting character and meets Huck while he is trying to help Jim escape, however Jim gets captured. Tom is one who loves following the rules from the books that he reads and sticking to the path that they lay out. So when Tom finds out he offers to help Huck but only if he follows his way more complicated and longer plan. Eventually the Tom and Huck free Jim even though Tom was hiding the biggest secret of all. Jim was free the entire time and Tom knew. The fact that Tom knew that Jim was free and still tried to come up with this ridiculous extra long plan to help Jim escape just because he wanted to have some fun shows how selfish and inconsiderate he is. Tom only cares about himself and his self interest and nothing else, not even Jim, other than what he wants and how he wants to do it.

Tom is set in stone and follows everything by the books he reads and doesn't want anything differently from what he knows and what he believes in. Tom is stuck in the belief of tradition and can't accept anything different from what he already knows. Huck, on the other hand, is willing to learn about his differences with other people he meets and is willing to learn how to do new things in other peoples ways. Huck has seen and experienced first hand that change isn't always bad and that sometimes it's necessary to become friends and get to know individuals. Both characters show the characteristics of America is and what America says it is the and now. America says that it's the land of the free and that the people and the government are both kind and accepting of people's differences. However, that is not the case and in fact is opposite of that to an extent.

That is why America is, in actuality, the United States of Tom because America, although somewhat accepting in bigger cities, is still stuck in old traditions and is actually scared to do something different from what it's comfortable with. In order to truly see someone you actually have to spend time with them and be open minded and aware of your differences. America today however, although getting better, is not there yet at being able to spend time with people that have different cultures than it so America can finally accept the differences of the people that live within it. Hopefully one day America can become the accepting United States of Huck.

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