Exceptional Leadership Qualities in the Novels “Huckleberry Finn” and “The Savage”
Both Huckleberry Finn and John “The Savage” are the main characters in their stories and both show exceptional leadership qualities throughout their stories. During his journey Huck Finn has always disregarded societal rules and always chooses his own path, this can be seen when Huck’s father re-enters his life and takes Finn away from the widow. Rather than continuing to stay with his abusive and alcoholic father Finn plans an escape and lives on his own until partnering with an old friend, Jim the slave. Together they make their way across the southern states region. As they journey together Finn is always thinking and planning for the future, early on Finn starts to question the faith and the use of prayers and doing things that would be beneficial for others. At the time Finn saw it as a waste and “couldn’t see no advantage to it.” (page 14) since then Finn has always been seen to be planning and thinking of future applications of his actions, while they may seem selfish, but he does what he presumes to be the best course of action for him and for Jim which shows great leadership qualities in that he’s caring for his wellbeing as well as another persons’.
As for John “The Savage” he chooses to display his leadership qualities in a different way. John understands the current society is flawed and that his fellow people should have the freedom of choice and he’s always adamant and voices his opinion. While having a conversation with Henry Foster John gives a rebuttal to Foster’s argument (page 215) “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.” Continuing his demands, “Not to mention I want the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy… I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.” When given the choice to live a quite easy and care free life The Savage chooses to face hardship and difficulty further cementing the idea that The savage is a man of character, integrity, and purpose which are all the qualities of a leader.
While both novels clearly have many differences the most evident being the settings, but both novels have a reoccurring theme of freedom and confinement and how both characters of the story want to break from societal norms and want the freedom of choice. The Savage thoroughly expresses his desires to have the freedom of choice. The most notable and obvious example of this occurs on page 215, “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness…” The idea of wanting freedom and rejecting confinement is the premise of the character. The Savage was not raised in the normal circumstances he lived away on a reservation where they too have the ability of the freedom of choice on this reservation they still practice marriage, family life, and natural birth which are all viewed to be unorthodox and primitive.
After experiencing life within the new society The Savage escapes to a life of solitude and confinement (page 218) “The Savage had chosen as his hermitage the old lighthouse which stood on top of the hill…” but to no prevail as he was followed and continuously gawked and marveled. Again we see even more evidence to support the theme of confinement when Mustapha Mond says (page 45/46) “but everyone belongs to everyone else.” Although as cryptic as it may appear to be but Mond is implying that we as humans are essentially property and owned by things such as instincts and old traditions, like the savages who are stuck in the old ways. But that has been deemed obsolete and was eradicated by the new society.
These themes are still prevalent within the novel of Huckleberry Finn and much more explicitly stated by Finn’s actions as well as verbally. While living with the widow Huck is taught to be educated and civilized and he is rarely given the chance to do what he wants, unless he sneaks off to be a part of Tom Sawyer’s gang. But his discontent with his current lifestyle is made noticeable very early on when being taught how to be civilized by the widow Finn eventually gets fed up with the constant chastisement (page 6), “all i wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was change.” All Finn wants is the freedom to do what he chooses to do and not be commanded to live by society’s rules, especially ones he doesn’t agree with. Eventually Finn has had enough and sets out to live on his own and be governed by his own choices, but it doesn’t come easily for him. For a moment Finn is seen living with his father in a remote cabin but in reality Finn is treated like a prisoner and is in a constant state of solitary confinement. “He kept me with him all the time, I never got the chance to run off . We lived in that old cabin, and he always locked the door and put the key under his head at nights.” (page 25).
It doesn’t take him long to grow restless of his current situation and eventually he longs for freedom and is willing to do anything to get it, “so by-and-by I got the old split bottom chair, and clumb up, easy as I could, not to make any noise, and got down the gun. I slipped down the ramrod to make sure it was loaded, then laid it across the turnip barrel, pointing it towards pap.” (page 31). Of course Finn chooses the latter option and makes a quiet and clean escape from his prison and goes on to live free of confinement and with his freedom.
Both novels have written within them many different tones and some may be more stated than the rest. This is especially seen in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the author relies heavily on the idea of colloquialism. This is easily seen during the many conversations between Jim and Finn, (page 42) “Well, dey’s reasons. But you wouldn’ tell on me ef I’uz to tell you would you Huck? “Blamed if I would, Jim” “Well, I blieve you Huck, I —I run off.”
Each of Twain’s characters appear to have different levels of education and with the colloquial style he is able to show that through the dialogue, not only does it set the tone but it also builds his characters. This appears throughout the story and can also be seen within internal dialogue (page 13) “I says to myself, if a body can get anything they pray for, why don’t Deacon Winn get back the money he lost on pork? Why cant the widow the snuff box that was stole.” We can see that Finn has somewhat of an education and that he is philosophical and Twain has use colloquialism to show depth to his characters. When speaking with Jim Finn tends to be more simple to him but on his own Finn can be complex and philosophical.
While Finn is written in the style of colloquialism A Brave New World takes on a rather compare and contrasting tone as author Aldous Huxley often compares the new world with the old world and the savages. (page 44) “Freud had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life. The world was full of fathers— therefore was full of misery; full of mothers— therefore every form of perversion from sadism to chastity; full of brothers, sister, aunts, and uncles— therefore full of madness and suicide.” While (page 45) “and yet among the savages of Samoa, the tropical sunshine lay like warm honey on the naked bodies of the children tumbling promiscuously among the hibiscus blossom.” Immediately the comparison of the two worlds is made, the new world is condemning the ways of the old blaming the for perverting the children.
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