Thursday, February 7, 2008

Life is made of Kings and Pawns

Karen Sloan's piece deals with Jim's somewhat unconventional view of King Solomon's ability to make a correct decision thus revealing Twain's parable and a strong objection to the then current state of black civil rights (during Twain's time, but set and portrayed years beforehand, anachronism style!). Sloan states, "Twain's parable represents the immeasurably more complex moral dilemma that arises when the civil laws of a society and the moral code of a substantial number of its citizens contradict one another," (Sloan 4). Now let me take you through a completely ridiculous interpretation built upon nothing more than reading too much into things and too much Mountain Dew. If we take King Solomon as a representation of the US government, the mother who 'saves' the child as the white population, the mother who does not mind the literal splitting of the child as the black population, and the child itself as the manifestation of laws, we see that this is more than a simple complaint. As Jim states, "What does I do? Dies I shin arou' mongs' de neighbors en fine out which un you de bill do b'long to, en han' it over to de right one, all safe en soun', de way dat anybody dat had any gumption would? No - I take en whack de bill in two..." (Twain 66), he clearly questions the King's common sense and could be seen as Twain's post-bellum challenge of government, or even just higher authority, set back in antebellum times. Now if we examine the Bible story in the context of Adventure of Huckleberry Finn neither Jim (opponent) nor Huck (proponent) present any evidence that the woman who gets the child in the end is the biological mother, she may have been a bleeding heart type or if viewed as the white population of the time, someone who would do anything (in this case deception) to stop blacks from receiving or taking advantage of the "God given rights" America was built upon. The woman who loses (what could have been her child, thanks to Solomon's "logic") are the blacks who have had something that is fundamentally their's taken from them because of the politicians too scared to do anything but play the game and a government that forgets to act. Taken much more simply, this is Jim telling Huck that he will always get screwed by the system and Huck failing to understand because he is unknowingly protected by it and is completely unaware of its existence.

Due to the late nature of this assignment, I am aware that a penalty will be administered, but how about we waive that for the contribution of Stretchy Cat (click to view)?

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