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Fri, 24 Mar 2023 02:40:03 +0000
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I understand what you are saying, and agree with what you say about 
Jim's plan and his awareness of the dangers he faced, but I don't see 
Jim as controlling or manipulative of Huck; I see him reflecting many of 
the tenets of the Quaker and Dunker Baptist faiths, and setting a 
paternal example for Huck, as I explained in detail in one of my MTJ 
essays (which I won't rehash here--you're welcome).

The vast majority of slaves who escaped slavery did so without needing a 
white children "as cover," and they all knew exactly what perils they 
faced. I must admit, I'm not exactly sure of what you mean when you say 
"having Huck as cover." I'm also curious about which moments you think 
are examples of "when Jim plays on Huck's sympathy." I earlier suggested 
the Buchanan book as an excellent account of black life on the 
Mississippi, and one thing that becomes clear from his historical 
documentation is that blacks (both free and enslaved) moved more freely 
up and down the Mississippi River than most literary critics and 
historians might think, all without having to control or manipulate any 
white kids.

Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730

You can browse our books at:

------ Original Message ------
From: "Larry Howe" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 3/23/2023 5:34:34 PM
Subject: Re: Why Jim didn't tell Huck about Pap

>I respectfully disagree with your claim that those of us who think that Jim withholds the fact of Pap’s out of self-interest are diminishing Jim’s intelligence.  Jim has a clear plan: drift South to Cairo, then take a canoe up the Ohio River where he can more reliably enter free soil. There he’ll work to save money to buy the freedom of his family.  However, this plan is not without significant risk. Jim knows that slave catchers are lurking on the Illinois bank of the Mississippi; hence the journey to Cairo rather than to, say, Alton.  Having Huck as cover during the journey to Cairo is an advantage.  After they miss Cairo in the fog, Jim has an even greater need to keep Huck on his side.
>Rather than discounting Jim’s intelligence, this reading gives him credit for knowing the peril he faces.  Moreover, it also adds nuance to the moments when Jim plays on Huck’s sympathy. Rather than the minstrel figure of a loyal servant, Jim’s subtle control of Huck exhibits a necessary craftiness for his survival. I agree that Jim has integrity, but he's also wise to the danger he faces.
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>From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Wolfgang Hochbruck <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2023 4:47:16 PM
>To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: Why Jim didn't tell Huck about Pap
>[CAUTION: This email originated from outside Roosevelt University. Only click links or open attachments if you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.]
>...from a pragmatic p.o.v., Jim should have killed Huck on Jackson
>Island - considering that he was 'dead' already - availed himself of
>Huck's gun & provisions, and made off. He didn't. I am fully with Kevin
>on this one.
>On Thu, 23 Mar 2023 19:25:34 +0000
>  <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>Heretical Fictions is an excellent book, but I think anyone trying to
>>make the case that Jim was motivated by self-interest not to tell Huck
>>about his father's death, must also make the case that Jim didn't
>>think he was smart enough to escape slavery without a white child's
>>help. I think that questioning Jim's motives is an insult to Jim's
>>character; he has more integrity than most of the white characters in
>>the story. Would Jim--the paternal figure who delivers that eloquent
>>sermonette on friendship--treat the now wholly orphaned Huck that way?
>>I would suggest that anyone who has read Huck Finn or Life on the
>>Mississippi also read Thomas Buchanan's Black Life on the Mississippi
>>(2004) for some surprising insights (and even as a counterpoint) into,
>>well, black life on the Mississippi.
>>Mac Donnell Rare Books
>>9307 Glenlake Drive
>>Austin TX 78730
>>You can browse our books at:
>>------ Original Message ------
>>From: "Scott Holmes" <[log in to unmask]>
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Sent: 3/23/2023 12:37:07 PM
>>Subject: Why Jim didn't tell Huck about Pap
>>>Still reading notes from "Heretical Fictions", I note the idea that
>>Jim did not tell Huck about the dead body being Pap as because Jim did
>>not want Huck to abandon him in his quest to escape slavery.  I had
>>always had the impression that his motivation was to avoid telling
>>Huck the "bad" news.  Thinking about it, now, I suppose I have been a
>>bit naive.
>>>-- /Unaffiliated Geographer and Twain aficionado/
>Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hochbruck
>Dept. of English /
>Centre for Security and Society
>Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg
>Rempart St. 15
>D-79098 Freiburg