Sunday, March 3, 2019
Huck, Emma, and Asher: Studies in the Theme of Self-Actualization Essay
In Mark Twains The Adventures of huckabackleberry Finn, Jane Austens Emma, and Chaim Potoks My Name is Asher Lev readers are presented with three characters that of different succession periods that each stimulate similar psychological traits. They each strive to attain self-awareness as they watch out the lessons of life through Hucks journey d deliver the river, Emmas experiences in the fraud of match-making, and Ashers conflicts with his familys Hasidism. Each novel uses the stem of psychological struggle for self-actualization of its youthful protagonists to explore exploitation up in the different periods. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck is a young, immature boy at the beginning of the novel living by the get byissippi in the ordinal century. Huck observes his situation as one that is the design of otherwises, not himself The decease Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me but it was rough living in the house all the time and s o when I couldnt stand it no longer I lit out and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go underpin to the widow and be respectable. So I went back (Twain, 1953, 11).This statement evidences Hucks undying love for the freedom and escape he finds in nature, and also his desire for Toms approval. Huck is forming his own personality, growing through his personal observations and realizations that civilization is not all that it appears or that he desires. During his trip down the river on the voltaic pile with Jim Huck observes, Other places do soak upm so cramped up and smothery, but a raft dont. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft (118). It is this recognition of value that ultimately allows Huck to leave Tom and civilization behind, as he sets out for the west to follow his own independence and maturity.Twain utilizes several literary techniques in holy order to c onvey Hucks suppuration to the reader. Firstly, by telling the layer from a first person perspective, we see Hucks organic evolution as it occurs, from his own mouth. Rather than being told by an external vote counter that Huck is growing up, we see it evidenced in his speech and perceptions. Also, the pass off rootage of hypocrisy that occurs in Hucks encounters with the civilized public and in the views on slavery that emerge from the text, a framework of repeating is established so that readers might see Hucks growth, when analyse it to a constant. Finally, Twain utilizes the symbol of the Mississippi Rivera thing that is in constant fluxto illustrate Hucks own tendency toward adulthood and self-awareness. bid Huck, we see the theme of great personal maturation in the character of Emma, the Victorian English middle class girl. Austen introduces her as a girl used to having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too advantageously of herself (A usten, 2000, 1). As a result, Emma spends the bulk of the novel meddling in other peoples lives and circumventing her love for Mr. Knightley. When Emma finally admits to herself her true feelings, it is the result of the lessons she has in condition(p) along the way and her own self-actualization.Because of the near ruination of Harriets romance, her insults to Miss Bates, and Mr. Knightleys gentle guidance throughout the novel, Austen writes, Emmas eyes were direct withdrawn and she sat silently meditating, in a fixed attitude, for a few minutes. A few minutes were sufficient for making her present with her own heart. A mind like hers, once opening to suspicion, do rapid progress she touched, she admitted, she acknowledged the whole truth (268). Like Huck, Emma frame out her true nature through personal observations, and was able to foster into maturity with her own independent wisdom. With as much acuity as Twain, Jane Austen utilizes rhetorical techniques to convey the them e of self-actualization in Emma. By structuring the story close to social class, Austen creates a framework through which Emma moves. Also, Austen utilizes word games throughout the text, much(prenominal) as Mr. Eltons riddle meaning courtship. Emmas outcome to the puzzle poses a double entendre, as she correctly guesses the answer, but does not see its meaning, just as she does not see the implications of her feelings for Mr. Knightley. Finally, Austen uses Mr. Knightley as a static character, in order to emphasize Emmas dynamic nature. In Mr. Knightleys steadfast character we see a yardstick by which Emmas maturity is measured.Like in the previous two novels, in Chaim Potoks novel My Name is Asher Lev, the theme of a youth try to achieve self-actualization is relayed. Readers are presented with the title character, a Hasidic Jew growing up in Brooklyn, and an incredibly foundered artist. Through Ashers struggle with this stem religious sect, that views his paintings as a sac rilege, he learns ultimately to accept his art and himself. Away from my world, Asher states when living in Paris, alone in an apartment that offered me neither memories nor roots, I began to find old and distant memories of my own, long buried by pain and time and slowly brought to the surface now (Potok, 1972, 322). Because he has survived the hardships enforce upon him by his familys strict fundamentalism, Asher is now able to emerge from his prehistoric as an individual, apart from the culture, community, and family that produced him. Like Huck and Emma, Asher achieves maturity and independence by the end of the novel.Potok conveys this development of character through several literary techniques. Like Twain, he utilizes a first person point of view to take the stand Ashers movement from boyhood to maturity. Also, in the figure of Ashers mythical ascendant we see a reflection of the protagonists development. As a child, the image of his ancestor invokes fear in Asher, but at the resultant of the novel he acts as an embodiment of Ashers own struggles with his heritage. Finally, Potok creates unchewable images throughout the novel, using Asher as a mouthpiece. Through these beautiful descriptions we see Ashers ability to comprehend and appreciate art, and, ultimately his growth as an artist.In each of these three individuals stories we see the theme of a youthful journey into mature self-actualization. In Hucks trip up the river, Emmas gallivanting through the social circles of Highbury, and Ashers ostracism from the Ladover community and excursion through Europe, there is a great and animate parallel that of the human capability for change, growth, and enlightenment. Whether the young characters come of age in the rural Midwest, Victorian England, or Brooklyn, the result is similar and includes the greatest gift a person can give to his or her self heedful independence.BibliographyAusten, J. (2000). Emma. New York, New York W. W. Norton & Company.Po tok, C. (1972). My Name is Asher Lev. New York, New York Alfred A. Knopf.Twain, M. (1953). The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. London, England Puffin Books.