Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I think that the character of Solomon represents the government, controlling its people by making decisions and settling their disputes. The two mothers represent the white people and the black people fighting over the child, representing equality and rights from Jim’s perspective. Each mother believes that she should get the child because they deserve him and not the other mother and the both the blacks and the whites believe that freedom is theirs. Throughout the critiscm it is stressed that a black can be free without actual being freed. Blacks are legally free, yet they are under the Jim Crow Laws and are restricted from doing anything with the whites, who still see themselves as superior. “ Now I want to ast you what’s de use er dat half a bill?-can’t by noth’n wid it. And what use is half a chile? I wouldn’ give a dern for a million un um” (Twain 77). Like Jim states, a black man granted half the freedom and rights, would be useless and no one could do anything with half the freedom. I think that Jim is struggling with this idea of what rights belong to him and where he deserves to stand in society. He sees the Solomon story as a understanding of America and where people stand in society. I believe that as stated in the criticism, that Jim was right and Huck did not understand the meaning behind the passage. "It was in de way Sollermun was raised" (Twain 78). The government was raised to see white skin as superior to dark skin and judge that whites deserve the freedom. Huck on the other hand, did not understant the maning of the sotry and what it repreents. He just see it a a biblical story. Because the lady told him that Solomon was wise, he believes he was wise for figuring out a good solution to the dispute. I think the story of Solomon represents society of Post Civil War era and where people stood within it.