Kakos' 6th Hour

Reactions and comments from my sixth hour Honors American Literature class.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ali and Aubrey's Post: Guilt and Escape

"I tried to make out to myself that I warn't to blame, because I didn't run Jim off from his rightful owner; but it warn't no use, conscience up and says, every time, ' Buy you knowed he was running for his freedom, an dyou could a paddled ashore and told somebody.' That was so- I couldn’t get around that, noway" (Twain 97).

Why do you think at this point and time, after Huck got lost in the river and the thick fog, that Huck feels sudden guilt? Why has he not felt guilty about traveling with Jim before now?


"Pooty soon I'll be a-shout'n for joy, en I'll say, it's all on accounts o' Huck; I's a free man, en I couldn't ever ben free ef it hadn' ben for Huck; Huck done it. Jim won't ever forgit you, Huck; you's de bes' fren' Jim's ever had; en you's de only fren' ole Jim's got now" (Twain 98).

When Huck found Jim on the island, Jim had escaped by himself, without help from Huck. Did Huck really save Jim or is Jim just thanking him because they are 'friends' now?

5 Comments:

Blogger AArensdorf said...

Huck and Jim met on Jackson's island by chance, and I think they were drawn to the idea of having companionship on the river, Huck because he was only a boy, and Jim because he was a runaway slave. There was no reason for Huck to feel any guilt in traveling with Jim because he did not seek Jim out. Jim benefited from the chance meeting, but that was not Huck's goal. Later in the story though, Huck has been presented with opportunities to leave Jim, and that is why he feels guilty. Before, he was only doing what was in his best interest, but then he started to do what was in Jim's best interest as well.

In the second quote, I do not believe Jim is merely thanking Huck. I interpreted that quote to mean that Jim was worrying that Huck was feeling guilty that he had let Jim escape, or had at least not turned him in. Jim was not only thanking Huck but also reminding him that he was Huck's friend, and friends don't turn their backs on each other. By saying this, he is making sure that Huck will not get cold feet when Jim is so close to freedom.

5:13 PM  
Blogger ryanp said...

I think that Huck suddenly feels guilty at this moment because he is temporarily separated from Jim. This makes him think of the possibility of Jim leaving forever and becoming free. He has been raised to think that blacks are lower class than whites and they should not be free. Huck thinks that he may be the reason for Jim escaping and he feels like he has distanced himself from society.
All of these factors contribute to Huck's guilt at this moment.

In response to the second question, I think that Huck really did save Jim. Even though Jim escaped by himself, if he didn't find Huck, he would have been discovered on Jackson Island by someone and recieved a costly punishment.

7:27 PM  
Blogger corey c said...

Question 1:
I think that Huck suddenly feels guilty because everything has been in a rush until now. I think he feels calmish because of the fog and starts to really think about what he's doing. It's weird that he feels so bad about freeing Jim when he has acted so rebelious with Tom.

Question 2:
I don't understand why Jim would say that it is only because of Huck that he is a free man. Maybe Jim had been feeling very alone and felt relieved and helped that Huck had found him. I think he felt that Huck really wanted to help him and this made him feel like Huck was really important.

8:35 PM  
Blogger KristinC said...

1) Huck is beginning to feel guilty because he realizes that if something happens to Jim that he could be held accountable. That kind of pressure from himself is creating doubt and it putting Huck in astate of mind where he feels responsible for Jim and worries about him.

2) I think that it is a little bit of both. I definetly don't think that Jim would have made it off Jackson's Island without Huck help but Jim is not totally helpless either. Jim is also showing his appreciation and gratitude for everything that Huck has done for him.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Olivia C. said...

Ms. Kakos- Oh man, I literally posted my comment last night and I went back to read over the other comments this hour and I must have not logged in correctly or something however, I give you my word that I DID (try to apparently)post it last night!!! So, I will re-respond :):
1. I agree largely with Kristin because Huck is beginning to experience guilt because he has had to justify in his mind that he did not assist Jim in his escaping, thus revealing a fear Huck is feeling. Also, relating back to earlier chapters (spec. 7 and 8) I believe Huck is finally realizing that his survival largely depends upon Jim's prescence. Although the two assist eachother in various ways, Jim is present to provide logic and maturity. At Huck's inability to find Jim, he begins to fear that he might lost this companionship.

2. Whether Jim was referring to Huck's ability to find him or his assistance throughout the whole journey I'm not sure. However, I think Jim is stating that Huck saved him because he has provided a way for Jim to escape and in the process is saving him from death, being captured. I think that Jim also has an inner fear of Huck and therefore feels dominated by him as he (being Huck) could reveal Jim's secret if tempted.

9:59 AM  

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