Saturday, January 18, 2014

Meredith's initial post

I'm really looking forward to our discussion on Tuesday. I've been thinking carefully about the question I posed to you:

Discuss something in your studies or your personal experience that caused you to fundamentally change, or deeply rethink, or simply question,  your understanding of a work of literature. (For clarification, this needn't be an exclusively academic experience: it could be a conversation with someone, travel to a particular place, re-reading a book at a different moment in your life, and so on.) How did you previously view the work? What happened that prompted your thinking to change? How did you view the work after this experience?

I have a couple of particular examples from my own experience that I'll probably share in class, but I really look forward to hearing what you have to say about this issue. I'll ask the first set of bloggers to elaborate on this question, and the first set of commenters to respond to it.  As far as my own blogging, I'll probably elaborate in writing tomorrow night on what we discussed in class.

1 comment:

  1. I actually have read Huck Finn in high school and am now reading it for the second time. I was talking to Dr. Goldsmith recently about how odd it was that I wasn’t even really sure that I read Huck Finn before; that’s how little I remembered of it. Reading it this second time, a few plot points and characters popped out at me. I remembered that I thoroughly enjoyed Huck’s humor, especially when he talks about the Widow. I also remembered having read about Jim and Huck on the raft together, and how Huck fails to stick up for himself when the ridiculousness of the Duke and the King emerge onto the canvas. I remembered being frustrated with Huck because he never really confronts any problems. He is forever scheming about ways to get out of situations instead of actually doing something about it. He runs from everything. He even says at one point that he does whatever he thinks is best for him at the time, regardless if it’s right or wrong.

    Other than those points, I don’t recall anything about reading Huck Finn in high school, even after reading it this second time. It really makes me realize what a waste of time it was reading it in high school. I obviously didn’t get anything out of it other than Huck is humorous, the Duke and the King are jerks, and Huck schemes more than he confronts. After re-reading the book now, I’ve found it far more interesting. For instance, I noticed that the raft seems almost symbolic of peace; whenever Huck and Jim leave the raft, all hell breaks loose. Returning to the raft returns a kind of order, albeit only on the raft itself. I also thought that the section on Huck’s violent escapades with the warring Grangerfords and Shepherdsons seemed like a microcosmic Romeo and Juliet. It’s almost like the entire world is raging around them, but Huck and Jim remain comfortable and peaceful on the raft (with the exception of the intrusion of the Duke and the King). Whether it is due to experience or maturity, ironically it feels like I’m reading Huck Finn for the first time.