The Magical Part of the Story
In the 1800’s American literature’s one of the main focuses in on friendship, and how it helps a person be the best he can be. A good friend or even a bad friend can make a person reach his potential. In the novels The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, The adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, and even in Edger Allen Poe’s dark work friend help one accomplish his best, either by helping them succeed in things, or fail. A person learns from his mistakes, and never repeats it again.
In the novel The Adventures Of huckleberry Finn two types of friendships are shown, good, and bad. When Huck decided to ran away from his drunken father, and escape his misery, he learned some valuable lessons from his father. He was independent and all by himself when he reached the island. He knew how to fish, how to light a fire, and even how to set traps. There he met his old friend Jim, who was running away too. Jim said “Ole missus –dat’s Miss Watson—she pecks on me all de time, en treats me pooty rough, but she alwuz said she wouldn’ sell me down to Orleans…. [o]ne night creeps to de do’ pooty late, en de do’ warn’t quite shet, en I heard old missus tell de wider she gwyne to sell me down to Orleans” (43). He didn’t want to be sold as a slave anywhere, so he knew he had to get away from that village. When he met Huck on the island, he was relieved, and they had adventures together. Huck helped Jim, and Jim helped Huck in many situations. Whenever Jim got into troubles, and was about to get caught, Huck made up a story to protect Jim from others, and Jim kept telling Huck “…but lawsy how you did fool ‘em, Huck! ... I tell you, child, I ‘spec it save ‘ole Jim -- ole Jim ain’t going to forgit you for dat, honey” (91). Every person Huck met in his adventures, good, or bad helped him in a way. They offered him food, water, and some valuable information regarding to where he was going, or what he was trying to find. When he was trying to find a specific city, he went dressed up as a girl, and he met a nice woman in town. Her name was Mr. Judith, she was new to town, but she still tried to help him. She offered him some new clothes, some food, and information. She told him something that saved Jim from getting caught, she said that there was a reward of money for whoever catches Jim, and she saw smoke coming from the island, so she believed he was hiding there. Huck hurried back to Jim, and told him “Git up and hump yourself, Jim! There ain’t a minute to lose. They’re after us!” (61). Huck saved Jim’s life many times, and Jim was very thankful for that.
There are even examples of friendship that was killing a person, The Scarlet letter is based on religion, however, there are some types of friendship involved. The main friendship is of Chilingworth and Dimesdale. When Chilingworth came back from his job that he was gone for ages, he found out that Hester, his wife, had an affair with other man, and he promised her he will get revenge on him. When Chilingworth was trying to find out who was the man, Hester didn’t tell him, he told her “Yet fear not fear him! Think not that I shall interfere with Heaven’s own method of retr8bution, or, to my own loss, betray him to the gripe of human law. Neither do thou imagine that I shall contrive aught against his life…. Let him live! Let him hide himself in outward honor, if he may! Not the less he shall be mine!” (70). He knew she wouldn’t tell him who he was, so he decided to find out on his own. When he found out that Dimesdale was the one, he cursed him, and wished him all the worst. Dimesdale became even a better person thanks to Chilingworth. “While thus suffering under bodily disease… the Revered Mr. Dimesdale had achieved a brilliant popularity in his sacred office…. His intellectual gifts, his moral perceptions, his power of experiencing and communicating emotion, were kept in a state of preternatural activity by the pick and anguish of his daily life” (93). He got to be the best he can be, everyone looked up to him, and he was one of the most famous people in the Utopian town.
In The Crucible Proctor and Abigail are friends, and Abigail accused people of witchery, including Proctor. John Proctors life was at risk because if a person was a witch, he was hanged. She also accused his wife, Elizabeth, of witchery and she was going to be killed. Proctor told Abigail “If you do not free my wife tomorrow, I am set and bound to ruin you, Abby” (151). When it is John’s turn to die, judge Danforth gives John a last chance to live by writing his name on a piece of paper that he was dealing with witchery, and he confessed. He knew he already lost everything he had –his wife, money, and his house- but he didn’t want to lose his name and honor. When he ripped the paper, he yelled “I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are! It is enough!” (142). When the judge starts arguing with him that he needs the paper signed for forgiveness, he cries “…it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! ...How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (143). He gave everyone who died because of being a “witch” honor. Even though not everyone kept their name, they still died from a huge mistake, and everybody knew it.
Even in a dark person as Edger Allen Poe, there are some examples of friendship, mostly bad. He was usually drunk, or in a bad mood. In his story The Black Cat he shows how he treated his pets that he considered as friends. “Pluto… was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him…. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets…. Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character… experienced a radical alteration for the worse…. My pet, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition” (2). Once when he got home drunk, he saw his cat and it annoyed him that he took a knife and cut out one of the cats’ eyes. From that day, his cat didn’t got close to him, so he decided to kill the poor beast. Later on he found another cat that looked just like Pluto; he decided to take it home. One day the cat annoyed him to, so he decided to kill it. While he was raising his arm to kill the cat, his wife saw it. He had no choice but to kill her too, and the cat ran away. He walled his wife, and when the police came, “I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end” (6). His character has changed, he started not to fear anything he has done, nor was about to do. He was satisfied with what he has done to his wife, and his cat.
As Athenaeus said “Old wood is best to burn, old wine is to drink, old friend to trust, and old authors to read”. Friends can sometimes be bad, and sometimes be good; sometimes betray, and sometimes help. The most important thing is to never be left alone, without a person to be by your side, a person can become really depressed, and never succeed in life. Without Ralph Waldo Emerson, those novels wouldn’t have been published, nor written. He inspired people to write, he also found transcendentalism, or see the whole picture, not only the bad. He showed everyone that where they live, either in bad place or good, there is something happening at other places.