Thursday, March 2, 2017

United States of Tom

In the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the author, Mark Twain, sends Americans a message about society, growing up and discrimination in this country. The main character, Huck Finn, goes on a huge adventure that focuses on the societal issues in America. It shows Huck growing and developing as a person as he learns from his experiences and what he sees on the river. He realizes that Jim is a human and he should to be free just like he is. Towards the end of the book we see more of Tom Sawyer. Tom and Huck finish the adventure together but they have different views on how it should end. Tom wants to help Jim escape for the second time using the "way they always do", which means making every part more detailed, extravagant and harder while Huck just wants to make Jim a free man. Even though the beginning of the book shows a Huck that was a product of the society he lived in, throughout the novel we see a Huck that makes the right choices and is developing good morals.

America has many different types of people in it, but as a whole I believe that we fall under the category of Tom in the novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. According to George Saunders, while Huck “likes people, fair play, spreading the truck around,” Tom “likes king's, codified nobility, unquestioned privilege.” Tom is the one who seeks adventure, only cares about himself and what he will gain, and will do whatever it takes to get his way. This is how most Americans are, to a certain degree. We want things done our way on our schedule. Americans today are always looking for a quicker, easier and cheaper way to do things. This is why smartphones, Uber, online banking, etc. were created. Just like Tom, Americans are all about luxury, and it is hard for them to understand how other people live if they are not in their shoes. However, there is some Huck in us, Americans as a whole do believe in doing the right thing but might not always follow through with it if they have the easier, more beneficial to them, option open.

Overall, we live in the United States of Tom because of the overwhelming need for “the better way," not always thinking about the good, moral way. If America could be one big community instead of individual people who are focused on their own self gain, then we could be on the Huck side, but until then we are team Tom.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you used examples such as Uber and recent advancements in technology to relate your point about how America wants things done easier and on their own schedule