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Compare And Contrast Huck And Tom: Mark Twain, "Huckleberry Finn."

1004 words - 4 pages

Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" follows a young boy named Huck through his adventures down the Mississippi River. Through the adventures and obstacles he faces and overcomes with Jim, a loyal run-away slave, Huck changes and becomes more mature. He is no longer the careless, prank playing boy that ran around and had fun at other people's expense. Near the end of his life-changing journey down the Mississippi, Huck is reunited with his idol and close friend Tom Sawyer and these once very similar boys now have many obvious differences. Huck differs from Tom in his way of thinking, in his treatment and attitude towards Jim, and in his tendency to question his surroundings.Huck sees and interprets the world realistically and in practical terms whereas Tom, a true romantic, believes the world operates like the stories in his books. A great example of their contrasting ways of thinking is in their differing approaches to rescue Jim from his imprisonment. Huck plans to simply steal the key, get Jim out, run to the canoe, and escape down the river on the raft. Huck's plan to get Jim out of captivity is straightforward, simple, and effective. Tom, however, complains that "its too blame simple," and that "there ain't nothing to it"(224). Tom's plan is complicated and full of unnecessary additions because of his stubborn adherence to the romantic scenarios that he reads in his novels. Tom believes there is "honor in getting [Jim] out through a lot of difficulties and dangers,"(230) and he goes out of his way to invent obstacles to make the situation more difficult and more like the stories he grew up on. He unnecessarily invents hard rock to dig through, a tall tower to climb down from, an infested cell full of rats, spiders, and snakes, and a high security situation. Huck, seeing no logic or practicality in Tom's plan, questions these highly unnecessary notions, claiming that "it's one of the most jackass ideas [he] ever struck"(239). Huck's realistic mind could not understand Tom's romantic nature and he disagrees with Tom's decisions on numerous occasions.After his experiences down the river with Jim, Huck begins to see Jim as a human being and as a close friend while Tom is still stuck in the mindset established by his southern white elders. When Huck finds the raft unoccupied and discovers that Jim is missing, he "set down and cried" because he "couldn't help it"(204). Huck had never realized how much Jim meant to him until he lost him. He feels so strongly towards Jim that he would rather condemn his soul and go to hell than to see Jim in chains again. He decides "to take up wickedness again" and "go work to steal Jim out of slavery"(207) even though this would mean that he would have to go against everything he had ever known and learned. Tom is the complete opposite. Tom only sees Jim as a nigger, a being lower than human, who is...

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