Three Protagonists

In any novel or a play, the protagonists get entangled with a myriad of circumstances and incidences in their journey throughout the development of the story. This is the case with the three protagonists: Huckleberry Finn, Emma Woodhouse and Asher Lev. These protagonists go through diverse issues in their various journeys through the progressions of life. Each of the characters perceives and deals with events in their surrounding circumstances in a unique way. However, it is not without much struggle, and sometimes even going against the grain as well as having to make decisions that are totally against the wish of the majority. Many of the happenings and events that take place in the settings are directly associated with them. Thus their involvement in the events of the novels is indeed paramount.

In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the protagonist’s journey begins with his acquisition of a large amount of money as a result of the previous adventures that he has been having. Huck’s experiences crystallize in a fictional St. Petersburg, Missouri, which is in Mississippi River. Huck and Tom Sawyer, a young boy and friend of his, have acquired the immense wealth. However, Huck finds himself in the middle of forces that want to civilize him. Thus he is left in the guardianship of the Widow Douglas. The guardian combines efforts with Huck’s sister, Miss Watson, to impart civilization into him. Nevertheless, Huck finds their ideologies as improper and unfit for him. Thus Sawyer helps Huck escape from the confinement that the guardian want to put him in.

The events that transpire in Chaim Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev feature the journey of Asher Lev that begins with his intrinsic artistic abilities that he portrays right from a tender age. The young artist finds himself a loner in this Jewish community which disregards his talent. The boy is in the centre of dilemma as even his own parents can not tolerate his unique talent. The artistic ability that the boy portrays obviously puts him at loggerheads with his community which is a devotedly religious sect. In fact, the gift is even considered demonic and sacrilege. Thus Asher’s journey is such a tough one. He has to find out how he can be able to advance his talent in spite of the hostility that surrounds him.

Similarly, Emma Woodhouse’s journey begins with her misconstrued ideologies about marriage. Having just attended a wedding of Miss Taylor and Weston, she recommends their wedding but gives her view that she rather opts for matchmaking than getting married. Emma apparently loves her father so much. She cannot imagine living without him, “Nothing should separate her from her father” (Austen, 1997, p. 200). Thus she sets out to accomplish her mission of matchmaking.

The elementary progress of the protagonists towards their final destiny is characterized with plots and counter plots. There are a myriad of occurrences that they get entangled with which impact on their lives and eventual destiny in an unfathomable way. Huck goes through innumerable incidences in his life as he struggles to unearth a balance in the circumstances that engulf him. His life is transformed when his abusive and drunkard father appears. Huck, however, manages to prevent his fortune from being wasted. Nevertheless, his father locks him in his cabin. This prompts him to fake own death and eventually escapes down the Mississippi River. Soon after the escape, Huck goes through various occurrences some of which bring him in verge of death. He undergoes such traumatizing incidences that overwhelm him.

The relief of his life presents itself the moment his friend Jim is captured. From here, he also learns that several people who had caused his escape have died. Thus he plans for a journey back home, assured that there is no threat any longer.  However, in the final narrative, Huck has made up his mind; he intends to flee west to Indian Territory. Nevertheless, he recognizes the efforts that the Widow Douglas had put in him by saying, “The Widow Douglas she took me for a son, and allowed she would sivalize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal and regular and decent the widow was; and so I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out.” (Twain, 2003, p. 11).

Similarly, Emma goes through a multifarious of experiences that undoubtedly transform her completely. First, she succeeds in convincing Harriet, who is apparently easily convinced to turn down the offer marry Mr. Martin who is a farmer. The argument she gives to Harriet is that Martin is not good for her as he is of a lesser class. However, the pursuit for the fulfillment of her goal is cut short.  Her schemes go awry as soon Mr. Elton appears and proposes to her. Mr. Elton is such a social climber, full of authority and power. However, she turns his offer down. As events unfold and with new people coming into the society, Emma becomes conscious of her own feelings towards Mr. Knightley. In spite of the fact that she has been contending with the issue of love, it dawns on her that she can also fell in love. In a nutshell, this becomes the turning point in her life. It is true that she goes through a transformation. Finally, Emma accepts Mr. Knightley’s proposal. She also approves of Harriet’s marriage to Mr. Martin. She also reconciles with all she had had wrangles with. Thus she shows a dramatic growth.

Conversely, Asher goes through miscellaneous discouraging moments through his journey. The negligence he shows towards his studies makes his father come to hate his talent. He tries to suppress his drawings and paintings. The defining moment happens in Asher’s life. Rebbe intervenes by offering the young boy a chance to study in one of the greatest artist at the moment: Jacob Kahn.  Soon, Asher becomes a great artist whose fame spreads so far. The parents soon come to be proud of their son. However, the fame is short lived as Asher is forced to leave the community when his imagery offends his mother so much. He says as he ;leaves, “Away from world, alone in an apartment that offered me neither memories nor roots, I begin to find old and distant memories of my own, long buried by pain and time and slowly brought to the surface now..”, (Potok, 1972, p, 208)

In all the three novels, the theme of family relationships features extensively. The various family relations between the protagonists are highly developed. The protagonists go through events that in one way or another affect their relationships with their family members. To a large extent, the family members influence the protagonists to take several actions that affect their destiny in a big way.



Austen, J. (1996). Emma. New York: Bantam Books

Potok, C. (1972). My Name is Asher lev. New York: Anchor Books

Twain, M. (2003). Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Barnes and Nobles Books

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