Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Here's part 2 of Crash Course's take on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (I linked to part 1 last week.)

It's interesting.

My own thoughts:
* I actually liked the ending of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn just because I thought it was funny.  And I know the critics don't like it because its tone doesn't match the rest of the novel.  But it made me laugh--the sheer absurdity of Tom Sawyer's obsession with re-creating a prison escape scene from the adventure novels, and how Huck Finn and Jim just went along with the crazy plan.  (Although, as I said in my original review, Mark Twain did milk the joke a little bit too long.)

* John Green's attempt to defend the ending as something Mark Twain had planned all along may be a little bit too generous.  The publisher's introduction to my edition noted that Twain went through several phases when he was writing this book, and gave up on some of the plot threads and themes he had started.  And this may account for the sudden change in tone more than anything else.

* Jim does have a lot of positive characteristics in the novel, but he is also portrayed as a comic buffoon most of the time, and an honest appraisal  of the novel needs to balance this against the more modern-sounding pro-equality parts of the novel.  John Green, however, is still ignoring the problematic parts of the novel.

But all in all, still an interesting video essay.

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