However, Joey and I are both literary by nature. I was an English Education major in undergrad and Joey was a Creative Writing minor (you should read his short stories!). It wasn’t necessarily a coincidence that “Sawyer” and “Finn” were on our short list of baby names for nine months. Mark Twain is a witty, rugged American novelist who, though not my favorite author, is brilliant at character development. One character we love is Huckleberry Finn. Listen to Tom’s impression of him:
He could go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it suited him; nobody forbade him to fight; he could sit up as late as he pleased; he was always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring and the last to resume the leather in the fall; he never had to wash, nor put on clean clothes and he could swear wonderfully. In a word, everything that goes to make life precious, that boy had. He was a romantic outcast.
Huck Finn felt more comfortable and “free” on a raft with a slave than safe within the confines and rules of society. He distrusted the hypocritical values of Southern culture and followed his own moral conscience instead. He was a loyal friend who saw beyond the outward appearance and valued what was inside the person. More child-wisdom from Huck:
Looky-here, Tom, being rich ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. It’s just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time. Now these clothes suits me…No, Tom, I won’t be rich and I won’t live in them cussed smothery houses. I like the woods, and the river and I’ll stick to ’em, too.
Though we don’t aspire for our Finn to have a filthy mouth or smoke a pipe or sleep on doorsteps, we do hope he prefers the woods to a mansion. We believe he will have a unique perspective on life just like Huck. He’ll probably question social expectations, the worth of riches and physical and medical boundaries. Finn Joseph Armstrong will be barefoot and ready for the next risky adventure.