Wednesday, February 6, 2008

After reading Sloan's analysis of the Solomon scene, I find my self identifying with multiple perspectives which have been brought to attention by many of my peers. When Sloan states that "the biblical account is viewed as an allegory about the relationship of justice (what is morally right) and the law (what is legally sanctioned), King Solomon becomes the wise intercessor," (Sloan 3) and has one mother be "a diseased conscience potentially abetted by civil law,"(Sloan 3) and another "a sound heart governed by moral rectitude," (Sloan 3) she strikes an interesting point which in many ways I feel serves as an interesting social commentary about the difference between the true values of virtue, as seen from both a governmental, and a human perspective. Solomon seems to become the will and heart of the people, who must choose the right way, the good mother, the one who sees the flaws in slavery. In this way Twain criticizes the law of the time, and backs it up by having Jim be vehemently against the idea as well. This relates to the fact that while many people gave into things such as slavery as tradition and law, in truth it is against the very moral idea of humanity, and in that way is the bad mother. From the idea of the book as an antislavery book, this story fits well in reinforcing it. In the same way you can see the differences in the reactions of Huck and Jim to Solomon's story. The baby in this way seems to become rights, freedoms, and equality. An idea brought up by many of us in our class discussions. Obviously Jim sees the wrong in splitting the child, as he has a want for all the things the baby represents, yet Huck being white thinks Jim has "clean missed the point," as he has been instilled with false justifications for slavery. Along with this thesis, I also agree with Sloan's belief that the point of Solomon's story is also "understanding the difference between a human life and a piece of property." (Sloan 4) Jim underscores his point by relating the splitting of a literal child with the splitting of a dollar bill calling both worthless. I agree with Sloan's idea that Jim feels "Trapped in a system whose civil and moral codes fail to distinguish between a human life and a piece of property." (Sloan 4) I feel that the Solomon reference in Huck is a up for interpretation and is meant to stand for a number of things, foremost the ills of slavery.

I agree alot with Jill's idea of the baby as civil rights, and respect. I think however, that the biological mother, or at least the one that got to keep the whole baby might have been the whites, as the respect and civil liberties enjoyed by whites were still beyond the blacks at that time, and so it seems representative of the blacks, Jim's anger toward King Solomon's folly. I also agree with Roxanne's thesis that "The unfair conditions of the Israelites can be compared to that of the slaves because “real justice” has not been served due to government’s lack of “judicious social conscience.”"

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