Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finn by Jon Clinch

Blog your insights into this version of Huckleberry Finn, from pap's perspective.

18 comments:

Jared Randall said...

"Certainly not as regards a thieving nigger boy and a sissy at that, blubbering away about a hook in his goddamn hand. He kneels and bends to take up the gasping fish, tenderly as a shepherd." Finn, Jon Clinch, pg 17. Finn's gruesome hate of blacks is clearly demonstrated when he beats a young black boy after his friends leave him to Finn's mercy. The irony here is that he treats a dying fish with more compassion and respect then he would consider to do with an innocent black boy. In this passage brutality and gentleness are present, but the receivers are switched! Those who know Finn would not be surprised by this fault in character. Finn is the most avid racist you'd care to read about. His story is peppered with recurring tones of racism. He refuses whiskey, the center of his heart, from a black man. He attempts to capture and enslave a mulatto professor. His life and the book is heavily effected by his racism.

Jared Randall said...

"'There's always the Judge. I believe he'll outlive me, the sonofabitch.' 'The Judge,' says Will, 'is sure to outlive us all.'" Finn, Jon Clinch, pg 265. Throughout the novel, Clinch uses Finn's father as a symbol of what Finn needs- Justice. Justice for killing, justice for ruining clean cloths, justice because of tearing up a man's mouth. Will knows justice will outlive everyone, definitely Finn. Durring the early chapters of the novel, you're not entirely sure who "The Judge" is, but just by how Finn talks about him you know he is afraid of the Judge: of Justice. Unfortunetly for the trouble maker, Finn, his father is the epitome of his fears. Most times he is reprimanded for his harsh actions, whether in childhood or adulthood, it is from his father. If you were rooting for Finn throughout the novel, you know it's bad news when The Judge came knocking (especially with a pistol). The Judge would have loved to finish Finn: the ultimate justice for sleeping with yet another black woman. Avoiding justice is one of Finn's specialties, though it's hard for him not to run into his father every once in a while.

Nicole Nutter said...

“‘You’re the Angel of Death, ain’t you,’ says the man, and with that assessment he pries open the clasp-knife and springs from the bed, hurling himself at the boy like a cannonball. ‘You can’t have me. Not yet.’ Flailing madly with the knife.” Finn, Jon Clinch, 74

In this quote, Finn is drunk and sleepwalking. He mistakes Huck for the Angel of Death and tries to kill him. This quote is ironic because it shows how death is close to Finn and Finn’s fear of death is revealed. He may have thought that the Angel of Death came for him because of all the bad things he has done. This quote ties into the theme of the fear of death and justice. Finn is clearly afraid of getting what’s coming to him and does not want to pay for the numerous murders and crimes he’s committed. Through this quote we see that Finn is at least feeling somewhat guilty for the things he has done or he would not dream of death coming for him. Another example from the book that shows us Finn’s fear of death is the nails that he puts on the bottom of his shoes in the shape of a cross to keep the devil away. This might just be a superstitious thing, but I think it is because he fears going to Hell for his crimes. He thinks that by doing this with the nails the Devil can’t get to him, so that he can be punished. I also think this quote ties into the fear he has for his father, the Judge. He is afraid to face justice and punishment and the Judge symbolizes that. This quote foreshadows and implies that death is coming for Finn.

Nicole Nutter said...

“The black man, a gray-headed veteran whom everyone knows as George, rises from the table with his empty glass in hand. He moves with grace and purpose of a storm cloud from his table to the bar behind which stands Dixon rubbing at an invisible spot with his filthy rag and contemplating Finn’s sad destiny. ‘I’ll have another’n,’ he says. ‘And this feller here’ll have the same, long as you’re pouring.’ Coins spill across the bar.
‘I ain’t that thirsty.’ Glowering at Dixon.
‘Come on, Finn.’
‘That’s all right.’
Dixon pours one. ‘I ain’t never seen you turn down a drink.’” Finn, Jon Clinch, 14

This quote is ironic because Finn’s character is a drunk who does desperate things just to get some whiskey, but he still would not resort to taking “charity”, as Finn would call it, from a black man because he is racist. It is also ironic how he treats black people. He is extremely racist towards them, but then he would have a son with a black woman. His hatred for black people may have sprouted from being raised by his father. His father was very racist and did not allow his family to have black slaves. He did not want his children to be raised around black people. This may also be why Finn is so obsessed with black women. He hates his father and is afraid of him, so he sleeps with black women because he knows his father would not approve. This quote is an example of the theme of racism in the book. Another example of this theme in the book is when Finn hits the black boy, who is innocent but found with other kids who were messing with Finn’s trotlines, and then tends to a dying fish like a “shepherd” right afterwards. Finn treats the fish more highly than he does the boy just because of his skin color. Finn’s racism highly effects his life and choices, and in the end will lead to his downfall.

Dylan Gillis said...

"Finn rises like weather and steps around Huck with one hand grazing his small shoulder in an instant's offhand tenderness, and with his greater bulk he moves to pin the cardplayer against the bar." Finn, Jon Clinch, pg 149. Finn was assaulting the card player for talking about Huck. The cardplayer stated he wouldn't have one of his kind referring to Huck's race. It was very ironic how Finn defended his half-black son when Finn, himself, was racist at every available chance. Finn defended his son because of the fact that Huck is his son, and he had no thought in his own personal prejudices against blacks. It was ironic but impressive that Finn defends him. The cardplayer also tried to take Huck's milk and trade it for liquor. Finn was again against his usual self for his son, and he turned down the alcohol offered to his son. Finn found it suitable to grab a broken bottle and cut the cardplayer's mouth so he was unable to talk again.

Zachary said...

"By his potency and the rapt hypnotic attention, that he focuses upon her she judges that he has given up whiskey in her absence, and this she takes for the greatest of miracles." Finn, Jon Clinch, pg. 261. Ironic how just because he is focused on her she thinks that he has given up alcohol. First of all its early in the morning and he has not had time to consume his daily dosage. Second, he is on a mission. He must get her back. The child he could care less about, however, Mary was something more to him. She may have been just a black girl and their relationship was an abomination to everyone else, but to him she was something that no whiskey could replace. But this so called love in the end is just fogged by alcohol, a dilerious mind, and a promise to his father. This small glimpse of a man that Mary sees is nothing more than an illusion.

Zachary said...

"Finding his son facedown in his own bed, one bullet square through his back and the sheets running red and the blood filtering down through the straw tick to pool upon the floor, is to him an anticlimax-and he desires to fire again, to slay him all over, but reloves instead to conserve the ammunition." Finn, Jon CLinch, pg 265. This outcome is ironic because what seemed like a horrific dream came back to kill him. Vengenance was about. After years, the woman still remembered her sons straw hat. Once that was seen all the pieces were put together and the man laying next to her was now the murderous thief to took her family. The Judge was right by trying to keep his son away from colored women. This death left the Judge unsatisfied. He wanted to be the one that killed his no for good son. This passage makes you truly understand how much he despised his son. Not one tear shed or thought of remorse. Only the dissappointment of not being able to kill him all over again.

James said...

"The cardplayer has approached the bar to refresh the ale he's been drinking and has put down upon the damp wood an oversize portion of his winnings. He is in a generous mood and so he offers to stand Finn to his next round. Finn by Jon Clinch pg 148. In this passage Finn is at a bar and there are people playing cards. This one man has been winning all night so he wants to buy Finn's next round. We all know Finn will not turn down a drink. But we know there is going to be some type of trouble because not a lot of people like Finn. In this scene Finn is at the bar with is new child who is black. It is a little ironic that a random cardplayer comes up to Finn and offers a drink to him. When ever one knows Finn asks for money.

James said...

"This ain't no suitable place for a boy." I won't have to go to school, will I?" "Try it and I'LL whip you good." Finn by Jon Clinch. In this quote Pap is talking to Finn in his room in the widows house. Pap is kidnapping Huck. Pap is making Huck come with him so he can get the 6,000 dollars from Huck. Pap tells Huck this is not a good place for him. Huck thinks it's a nice place and they treat him well. Huck asks Pap if he has to go to school if he goes with him. Pap tells him if he tries to go he will whip him. Pap doesn't believe in reading or writing because he doesn't know how to do either one. Huck felt like he was forced to go to school and church at the widow's house. Huck is happy when he finds out he doesnt have to do those things with his Pap. Pap doesn't want to have a kid that is smarter than him.

Terry said...

"Finn works some nails out of a piece of lumber that's come floating down the river and caught on a snag upstream of the cabin and he straightens the nails upon a rock and then with another rock he drives them into the heel of his new left boot to keep away the devil." Finn, Jon Clinch pg 58.

Here Finn just got new clothes from Judge Stone who even invites him to dinner and gives him a place to sleep. Finn then sneaks out and sells the coat to get drunk. I think this shows how Finn is just looking out for himself and will take advantage of everyone. I also think it is funny that Finn fears the devil when he is an racist ass to everyone. He even just wants his son now that he found 6,000 dollars. Instead of just being a good person and make a living he tries to take from everyone else. Im very surprised he has anyone left that is willing to help him.

Dylan Gillis said...

"Among all the powers and principalities, there is none on earth so mighty as a man's unsatisfied desire." Finn, Jon Clinch, pg 105.
In this quote, the preacher is referring to himself and is trying to prove a point about all men so he can receive help from one of the men at the bar. Finn ends up being sucked in and giving the preacher companionship on his voyage to get his unsatisfied desire. Finn directs him to a slave house where the preacher takes a small slave boy, rapes him, and then drowns him. In this the preacher is talking about his sexual desire, but this relates to Finn's entire life. Finn always went for what he wanted and was well known for it. He loved whiskey and was a racist. Once he heard his son had found a large amount of money, Finn went searching for him. The entire theme of Finn is following Pap on his wild, drunk adventures as he goes along doing what he wants and fulfilling those unsatisfied desires. This novel proves this quote true

Terry said...

"They strip the man of the white suit that is not his and they tie him naked to a stanchion where his crime and his disgrace will be public come daylight.
"How can we repay you?" says the captain"
"I might have an idea," says Finn." Finn, Jon Clinch, pg 98.

I feel that this scene where Finn just saved a steamboat from a some what "hostage" situation. Has a lot of Irony in it. He can't stand being next to a black or even having them in the same room, but at the end of the scene he decides to take a black women with him from the ship. I don't understand how such a racist like Finn would want a black with him.

Dmitri R said...

“So you’d think.” And with that much infuriating
introduction he commences his tale of how Judge Thatcher
has stolen away the boy’s fortune and permitted the
innocent child to be raised up by a widow woman of
uncertain intent. “He’s a slave in that house he is. A slave to
that widow and her Bible and what all else I can’t say.” Finn, Jon Clinch pg. 110.

Oh the irony it burns! To use the term spin the tale, would be an understatement, this is a perfect example as what is know as bull pure and simple. The irony of this, is of course that in the novel of The Adventures of Huckle Berry Finn it was he whom had kidnapped Huck. It was the father who had stolen away the boy and permitted the innocent child to be raised by a lowly drunk of uncertain intent. He was a slave to the house that he is, beaten and kept locked up in the wooden shack. A slave to the drunk and his whiskey and what all else I can't say. I find it entertaining when the father feints interest in his son's welfare when he's the epicenter of all his son's problems. At the same time I find it interesting how people such as Judge Stone are still gullible enough to think that he can change, and be a good man, while he never fails to take advantage of the opportunity for his own gains. This seems to be a common theme and/or occurrence in this book, people taking pity on the drunk and him spitting it back in their face, one way or another.

Dmitri R said...

FINN TOOK TO DRINK early in spite of his father’s counsel.
“You can rely upon whiskey to destroy a man,” the Judge
would say to no one in particular, waiting at the head of the
table for Petersen’s wife to serve him his supper. The
Judge’s own father before him had possessed a boundless
appetite for drink, and as a result the Judge was by
inclination more sympathetic to the lowest sneak thief than
to any drunkard who happened before his bench. “Make no
mistake,” he would say then and he still does, “I am always
unstintingly fair to the tippler. I can be counted upon to be
perfectly just in hearing his plea and gauging his
punishment. But I must confess that such judiciousness
brings me no pleasure.” Finn, Jon Clinch pg. 208

A nice use of foreshadowing. In fact, there are two instances of foreshadowing here, one slightly more subtle then the other. The first and more blatant one is the line "You can rely upon whiskey to destroy a man." Which of course foreshadows Finn's life being ruined and eventually his death. The second is the brief backstory being given about The Judge's father or Finn's Grandfather and to be more specific, how the Judge deals with those kinds of people. The Judge seems to have an utter hatred for drunkards, which makes psychological sense having an alcoholic for a father (Though Huck does no't seem to share this trait.) Which brings to question of what would his reaction be when seeing Finn in the situation that he is at the start of the novel. This question of course gets answered in the final resolution of the novel when the Judge delivers justice, once and for all.

Jessie said...

“Some small creature, mouse or rat or other, scuttles pas the doorway and as she hears its furtive steps muffled by grass and dust and then considers such noises as Finn himself might detect even from the depths of his sleep, such small courage as she has managed to collect in her heart diminishes and dims and dies. She nonetheless takes in air and reaches with her toe for the floor as gingerly as she can just to see, and it takes no more than that to bestir the man, who rises up cursing himself for a fool and stalks over to close the door and secures it with the lock.”

Clinch uses this part to show how controlling Finn is with everything. He doesn’t allow anyone to make their own decisions. Here is a good example, but we see him do this through out the whole book with Huck and his brother. Finn doesn’t like being told what to do or even listening to people, even if he agrees. In this quote Clinch uses amplification to make the sound of the critters foot steps on the floor very quiet, but Finn is so set on keeping her in the room that he will stir at any noise muffled or not. The amplification used here was used effectively setting the scene of what was going on and how quiet it was and how aware Finn was. This works well with the theme of the book because the theme is people knowing what they want and doing anything they can to get it. Finn doesn’t care what someone wants all he wants is to drink and control people and he does anything to do so. This quote shows him doing just that. She doesn’t even have to make a sound and he is aware of her stepping on the floor and gets up to lock the door and keep her inside. He is foolish through out the book also because he thinks everyone is going to listen to him and just follow what he says. Like in this part of the book he leaves the door open and believes that the woman wants to stay with him and isn’t going to try and escape. When he realizes what she is trying to, he locks that door and curses himself for thinking that way in the first place and trusting her. Finn instills fear in people and that’s how he gets his way. For example, here all she wants to do is escape but is so scared she thinks everything is louder than it really is and she could make a run for it but is too scared of what Finn would do if he caught her since he has nothing to lose if he kills her or hurts her. Which is pretty much what he does and how he is throughout the whole book. If something or someone doesn’t fit into his plan he’ll get rid of them or leaves them behind.

Jessie said...

“Finn looks at the boy and his mother nestled together content upon the horsehair couch and he half wishes that the Judge could see his circumstances now if only to condemn his behavior even more stridently than has preciously been his habit. The woman and the child are a strange and cumbrous burden but they are a burden his alone, and he believes them thus deserving of acknowledgment.”

This is ironic because Finn is one off the most racist people and yet he believes his son and son’s mother should get acknowledgement even though the mother’s black and the son is half black. Since they are his responsibility now he wants them acknowledged even though any other black mother and half black son he would ridicule and treat them as dirt. Irony is used well here because it shows us that Finn is only looking out for what is his and just wants everything to go his way and it doesn’t matter what he says about other people and blacks these two blacks must be treated better. Clinch wanted this to show Finn making an exception so that he gets what he wants and does what he wants. He uses it to show that Finn thinks so highly of himself that it doesn’t matter if he makes a mistake or goes against what he believes because he makes the rules. Just because he has a half black child does not mean he thinks it’s ok for others to do that and doesn’t mean he has to treat any other black differently. Finn doesn’t think he does anything wrong but picks on every mistake someone else makes. The irony goes right along with the theme of people wanting something and doing anything to get it. He wants his son and son’s mother to be acknowledged and is changing how he would normally treat these two people and saying since these are mine then they are better than other blacks.

Chelsea said...

"Permit two white men to batter in a darktown door and steal a woman's child and murder her husbandby means of a bullet through the neck, and from that night forward those two masked men or their simulacra shall be forever breaking down doorways in into the dreams of every last mother and child in that forlorn place." Finn, Jon Clinch, pg. 167. Finn is visiting with the woman who's husband he murdered, and child he assisted to steal. Although I know Pap Finn to be a violent drunkard, the violence in this novel persisted to keep me on the edge, and many events I didn't expect. I found it ironic that Finn continued to visit with this woman and even fix her broken door, which he had broken. I had not expected her to reappear in the story line, however Finn visited her house multiple times. This to me shows, as well as other scenes, that Finn has a soft side, where he considers mistakes and what his life could be minus the whiskey and simple living. Finn has a heart somewhere, however once he begins to second guess the whiskey, he is soon lured back to his influencedstate of mind.

Chelsea said...

"The momentum of his passage brings him to her straightway and gives the backhanded swing of his right arm untold power, and accelerates the arc of that rusty implementinmto a stroke as fierce as a lash. Had she not flinched she might have lost an eye but as its jagged metal edge cutes her temple down to white bone, white bone instantly drowned in red blood and black flex of rusty iron and a spatter of residual water that trickles down her face like tears that she will not permit herself to shed either now or later." Finn, Jon Clinch, pg. 187. The detail of this scene stood out to me. The description of this scene Clinch madeso vivid. I feel as though I can feel the pain Mary feels as the dipper connects with her face. I am appauled that Finn could do this, after all he has lost for this woman he loved. Mary delt with Finn and his addiction, and he in ungreatful for what he has given her.