Wisdom from Huckleberry Finn and the nature of modern argument

Mar 02, 2023 2:23 am

Tom Sawyer Abroad, by Mark Twain, is told from Huckleberry Finn's point of view. In chapter 12, Tom has explained how a bronze horse that flies in the Arabian Nights is like the flying balloon on which Tom and his friends have sailed across the sea and the Sahara. Tom has argued that the two things are alike in principle as both are fantastic flying objects--one controlled by a knob and the other by buttons. Huck argues that a match and a candle are also the same with the common principle being fire. He asks Tom what would happen if the match were put to a carpenter's shop. Tom admits that the shop would burn. Huck then lays the trap in his sly syllogism by asking what would happen if the candle were put to a pyramid. Toms says that nothing would happen, "because pyramids can't burn." Huck thrusts home his point with, "Aha! And a horse can't fly!"

While Jim is strangling himself with laughter at Huck's intellectual victory over Tom, Huck narrates: "I never said nothing; I was feeling pretty well satisfied. When I have got the best of a person that way, it ain't my way to go around crowing about it the way some people does, for I consider that if I was in his place I wouldn't wish him to crow over me. It's better to be generous, that's what I think."

Regardless of whether one thinks Huck got the best of Tom, Huck's method of handling his perceived victory is admirable.

As for how this little exchange of ideas and argument might reflect contemporary debate, I'll leave it to you to apply it as you will.


As you might've guessed, I'm reading Tom Sawyer Abroad, along with James Beckwouth's memoirs--which I'm about to finish--and I've started listening to Verbal Judo, Updated, by Jerry B Jenkins and George Thompson..

We finished watching the latest season of The Chosen last week. I enjoyed the season, and quite admired the final episode. I highly recommend the series, Have you seen it? What did you think?

On the writing front, I've finished another short story--with feedback from my Skirmish Team--and expect to submit it for consideration in an anthology tomorrow. I hope to get back into Chapter Six of book 6 in the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire Series. Chapter Five was a real candle to the carpenter shop--it was a fabulous fiery fiesta in more ways than one and no dragons were harmed in the writing of the chapter.


If you haven't picked up your copy of In Death Bedrenched, it's available here. If you already have it, get it read and post your review.

If you're a young adult fiction faction, these books should be right up your alley.


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