Word & Song by Anthony Esolen
Poetry Aloud
"Our Gang's Dark Oath"
5
0:00
-14:58

"Our Gang's Dark Oath"

A Reading from Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
5

After our deeply serious Film of the Week, it’s time for some laughter here at Word and Song, and who better to provide it than that most American of satirists, Mark Twain? One thing that Twain shows again and again in those books of eternal boyhood, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, is that boys get together and somehow anticipate in their games the same kinds of things they’ll be doing when they are grown men. They’ll have laws and courts, they’ll sign contracts, they’ll unite in brotherhoods to serve the common good, and so on. Just so, the boys from their little town on the Mississippi River get together in a cave to promise to rob people on the highways and kill them, and they agree on all kinds of terrible punishments if anybody decides to be a fink. Poor Huck almost doesn’t make it into the gang, because he doesn’t have any family available to be killed in case he tells the gang’s secrets, but the boys, tempering justice with mercy, decide that Miss Watson, whom the orphan Huck lives with, will do just as well.

Give a gift subscription

Everything’s got to be done by the book, you know! It’s the only way true justice can be served.

Share Word & Song by Anthony Esolen


Word & Song by Anthony Esolen is an online magazine devoted to reclaiming the good, the beautiful, and the true. We publish six essays each week, on words, classic hymns, poems, films, and popular songs, as well a weekly podcast for paid subscribers, alternately Poetry Aloud or Anthony Esolen Speaks. Paid subscribers also receive audio-enhanced posts and on-demand access to our full archive, and may add their comments to our posts and discussions. To support this project, please join us as a free or paid subscriber. We value all of our subscribers, and we thank you for reading Word & Song!

Share Word & Song by Anthony Esolen

Browse Our Archive

5 Comments
Word & Song by Anthony Esolen
Poetry Aloud
Poetry Aloud will help you learn how to read poetry with your ears. Unlike children with bad table manners, poetry is meant to be heard and not just seen. Join Anthony Esolen every other week (or so) as he introduces and discusses a longish poem and then reads it aloud.