Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the characters of Huck and Tom can be described as both looking at life through different lenses. Tom often goes about doing things the proper way, for example creating additional obstacles in the way of rescuing Jim towards the end of the story. Tom’s approach to life can be tied to the core ideas of American Romanticism. Huck however sees no reason to do such things Tom’s way. Huck prefers to do things straight-up, no fooling around. Because of this, Huck’s approach to life can be tied more to Realism. Having both ideologies represented in the story makes for some interesting developments. These kinds of life choices made by Tom and Huck and those they are destined to make in the future are reflected in this letter from Huck written forty years after the conclusion of the story.
When we last left off, Aunt Sally had told me that she wanted to keep me around and “sivilize” me, I don’t know what it is with people and wantin’ to keep me around for themselves, but I wasn’t very fond of that idea, I’d been through that before and I’d had about enough of tryin’ to do things the right way. So I told her that it was very nice of her to offer, but that I’d rather go my own way.
Tom stuck around for a little while, but eventually he left, too. The last I heard from Tom is that he went and moved up east, somewhere a little outside of New York City. He’s got a house of his own now, and works for a newspaper publisher. Some kind of big shot now, I presume.
Boy I never would’ve thought he’d be the kind to settle down and have a family, cuz that’s what he did. Got himself a nice house and got himself a family. Got married a few years before the war, then went off and joined
the army. He fought for the north I think, but he didn’t stay for the whole thing. Knowing Tom, he was just lookin’ for something to do, looks like the Union Army became To’s new gang. He never really took much stock in the whole conflict thing, but I guess its proper to be fightin’ for the Union if you live up north.
After I left Aunt Sally’s, Jim stuck with me for a little while, he wanted to go find his family but I told him that even though he was free they were all still slaves, but he didn’t care much and went lookin’ for them anyway. I presume he found em because he didn’t come back lookin’ for me any time soon. After emancipation Jim and everyone else in Jim’s family moved north up the river, settled in Ohio I think. He came to visit me one time, I hadn’t moved from where I was stayin and he seemed happy to see me so I was too. Me, I left from Aunt Sally’s and decided to go my own way like I said before. I decided to travel a little further up the banks of the Mississippi, I wanted to go a little farther north to get away from all that racist stuff that I was never too fond of to begin with.
I took my six thousand dollars from Judge Thatcher and thanked him for keeping it for me the whole time. I sailed up the river, Jim and me both, until I found a nice spot which wound up being in Illinois, which was a free state so it’s fine by me. I took my six thousand and built myself a nice little spot on the river banks.
Nothing better to have in your back yard than the Mississippi. I really wasn’t lookin’ for much, so I had a good amount of money left over after me and Jim built my cabin. I really didn’t want no proper job and all that, so I decided to start goin fishin’. Soon I realized that fishin’ is all I need. I got food on the table every day and there was always enough fish to go around. There was enough fish in that river to feed an army, so I figured I’d take advantage. Plus, I never get tired of fishin’, so I just kept doin it.
As far as I’m concerned there isn’t anything wrong with that, doin what I like to do that’s how I decided I wanted to live my life, so that’s exactly what I did. I stayed out of the war, that stuff isn’t any of my problems so I never figured a reason that I should join. Everything else was kind of quiet, where I decided to live wasn’t in no town or anything so I guess that’s what’s to be expected, but that ain’t a bad thing either. I like being off on my own, there’s nobody around to try to tell me what to do anymore. That’s pretty much it. I’ve kept to myself and done what I like to do since then, done a lot of fishin’ and a little bit of travellin’ too in more recent years. Went out west to see the sights and someone offered me a job minin’ for gold. Way up high in the mountains, we never got much gold but I stuck around anyways, I had fun. All in all, though, there’s nothin’ like being home on the banks of the Mississippi.
Huckleberry Finn 1878
Image Sources: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj6j8Gk_eTRAhWJ7iYKHUK2DCUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.famousfix.com%2Ftopic%2Fhuckleberry-finn-and-his-friends%2Fphotos&psig=AFQjCNFlluDhagf_6P-0knCiaQLs7qup9g&ust=1485697678679850