I know Patrick has already referenced something from the University of Virginia, but I found LOTS of other great stuff on that site.  This address:  http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/huckfinn/huchompg.html  is actually the Home Page for their Huck Finn stuff.

Of course, one of the parts I enjoyed the most was the part about the artist that was hired by Mark Twain to do the original drawings of the characters.  “Edward Kemble was a struggling young artist in New York City when MT commissioned him to do the illustrations for Huck Finn. Because he could only afford to hire one model, a teenage boy named Cort posed for all the drawings. Cort changed costumes to represent the various characters, even putting on a “wool” cap when posing as Jim, but his one form provided the real model for the entire range of people Kemble drew.”

This is his model, Cort:

You will then see a little of Cort in each of Twain’s characters:

Huck –

The Widow –

Miss Watson – “Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on”

Jim –

Judge Thatcher –

Pap – “He was most fifty, and he looked it. His hair was long and tangled and greasy and hung down, and you could see his eyes shining through like he was behind vines. It was all black, no gray; so was his long, mixed-up whiskers. There warn’t no color in his face, where his face showed; it was white; not like another man’s white, but a white to make a body sick, a white to make a body’s flesh crawl — a tree-toad white, a fish-belly white.”

Misto Brandish’s Nigger – “. . . dat one-laigged nigger dat b’longs to old Misto Bradish” [Jim’s description]

Buck – “Buck looked about as old as me — thirteen or fourteen or along there, though he was a little bigger than me.”

Col. Grangerford – “Col. Grangerford was very tall and very slim, and had a darkish-paly complexion, not a sign of red in it anywheres; he was clean-shaved every morning, all over his thin face, and he had the thinnest kind of nostrils, and a high nose, and heavy eyebrows, and the blackest kind of eyes, sunk so deep back that they seemed like he was looking out of caverns at you, as you may say. His forehead was high, and his hair was black and straight, and hung to his shoulders. His hands was long and thin . . .”

Miss Charlotte – “Miss Charlotte . . . was twenty-five, and tall and proud and grand”

The Duke – “The other fellow was about thirty . . .”

Village Loafers – ” . . . [loafers] gaping and yawning and stretching — a mighty ornery lot . . . There was as many as one loafer leaning up against every awning-post, and he most always had his hands in his britches pockets, except when he fetched them out to lend a chaw of tobacco or scratch.”

Col. Sherborn – “. . . a proud-looking man about fifty-five . . .”

Dr. Robinson – “. . . a big iron-jawed man . . .”

The Undertaker – “He was the softest, glidingest, stealthiest man I ever see; and there warn’t no more smile to him than there is to a ham.”

Mary Jane Wilks – “Mary Jane was red-headed, but that don’t make no difference, she was most awful beautiful. . . and my, but she was handsome! . . . You may say what you want to, but in my opinion she had more sand in her than any girl I ever see; in my opinion she was just full of sand. It sounds like flattery, but it ain’t no flattery. And when it comes to beauty — and goodness too — she lays over them all.”

The English Wilkses – “a very nice looking old gentleman . . . and a nice looking younger one, with his right arm in a sling”

Aunt Sally & Uncle Silas – “. . . [she was] about forty-five or fifty year old . . .”

Tom –

Nat – “This nigger had a good-natured chuckleheaded face, and his wool was all tied up in little bunches with thread.”

Woman Slave –

The Doctor – “The doctor was an old man; a very nice, kind looking old man . . .”

Mrs. Hotchkiss –

Aunt Polly –

Hope you enjoy this comparative art study!


P.S.  I also found one more interesting article nearby on Folk Beliefs of the time.  It is at: http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/projects/riedy/intro.html  Get a load of the Witches picture!!


~ by seventhperiod on September 9, 2007.

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