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Andrew Dickson <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 23 May 2012 20:47:53 -0400
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I'm a bit confused.  I'm following you on everything, except for how Tom
has to make the escape more exciting.  Why would he have to do that?
Obviously we see his declaration for glory/adventure as his literal reason,
but why would Jim's slave-mindset force a more exciting escape?

I do like the idea of the two prisons/shacks being linked.

A connection  I personally saw was who really got the 'final word' in the
ending.  In the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, it's Huck.  Huck gives his
monologue on why it's impossible for him to be civilized.  In Adventures of
Huck Finn's ending, Tom has several lengthy explanations of why he seeks
glory and adventure over logic -- he gets the last word.  Huck is literally
free and Tom admires this.  Tom uses society to his own benefit and Huck
admires this as well -- they have a mutual respect for one another that
seals the friendship.  This is my take on the ending chapters in Huck Finn,
but it requires Adventures of Tom Sawyer to make sense.

One final question.  I'm a bit confused about the length of Finn's
journey.  I assume it was at least three months, because at the end it's
revealed that Watson has died two months prior (thus Jim's freedom).

Thanks in advance for any insights.  I really loved this book.

On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM, Jan Reed <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I found the disconnect in the ending of the novel troublesome until a
> stude=
> nt pointed out the symmetry of the two "shacks." The first shack was
> occupi=
> ed by Huck, imprisoned by his father, his life threatened.  He was locked
> i=
> n and had to escape in a way the romantic Tom would approve.  The second
> wa=
> s occupied by Jim.  He was given care; he was "safe"; he was more
> imprisone=
> d because of having the mindset of a slave than by the shack itself.  Tom
> h=
> ad to make his escape more exciting.  The two shacks seem almost like
> Alice=
> 's rabbit holes, the adventures between the two take on almost a fantastic
> =
> characteristic when seen this way. =20
> jan reed
> ________________________________________
> From: Mark Twain Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Andrew Dickson
> [meta=
> [log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 2:10 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: The ending of Huckleberry Finn
> Hello all,
> New reader of Twain here.
> Immediately after Huck gets to the cabin, it does seem that Twain lets
> comic relief take over.  Immediately before, the novel deals with a
> colossal amount of dread, and it's sudden change of pace does throw you
> off.  Additionally, most of the ending plot is driven by Sawyer's mischief,
> and really draws out what could have been an easy escape, as Huck put it.
> Most of the novel feels very profound and filled with freedom and life, but
> the ending chapters seem to exist in an entirely separate realm.  They keep
> the light-heartedness and humor of the book, but none of it's transcendent
> purpose.  There's no urgency.  Hemingway advises the reader to stop after
> Huck gets to the cabin, and this is very hard to do on trust alone, for the
> book is so compelling, but after reading the ending chapters, you
> understand what he was talking about.
> It does seem to make more sense that the book is named *Adventures of Huck
> Finn*, for it seems as if the adventures themselves were cut short.  If Jim
> hadn't been sold by the King and the Duke, they likely would've continued
> down the river.  Thoughts?
> -Andrew=