The Protagonists Growth

Published 11 Jan 2017


Huck in Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain came from a poor family and has grown independently. He is frequently homeless but despite this kind of environment he is under, he remained an intelligent boy. He may have his own unique way of thinking, but he remained steadfast on his beliefs and was able to learn from his independent ways. His self-reliance and perseverance turned him into a mature boy.

Emma on the other hand as written by Jane Austen, is a girl who was born from a rich family. She may be well off but has insecurities in her life. Emma was deprived of attention and so she keeps on involving herself on other people’s lives. She was always jealous of other people. Her matchmaking tactics lead her life to a complicated one.

Lastly, Asher in Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, is an interesting inpidual with conflicting personalities. Being raised a Jew; he was taught to be religious and was filled with inculcation as he grows up. He was trained to be closely attached and dependent to his family. However, as such, Asher remained a normal boy. He was gifted with a talent in art and this became his way of expressing himself. The powerful influence of his gift led his life into opposing directions, and confused his thoughts of which path to choose.


The theme of Huck Finn is more of perseverance. The setting as the society itself, is Huck’s home. His every adventure is a new learning experience for him. At an early age, he was able to inflict good, though sometimes unusual, thoughts of how to survive. He said that “people get down on a thing when they don’t know anything about it” (Twain, 2004). However, this became his guide to survival. No one was there to teach him about anything so he was compelled to “get down” on these things to learn. Moreover, he struggled with different problems that adults face, but still take things positively. If Emma was in Huck’s place, she would be rather helpless. It would be so difficult for her to survive in this kind of setting, but maybe she would be mature when this happens. As for Asher, it would be somewhat similar because he was almost independent when he chose his dream over his family, this only shows he has a mind of his own and old enough to decide for himself.

The Emma’s theme is more on jealousy. She has grown immature despite her good start. She was fortunate to have been raised in a wealthy family, but unfortunately remained childish as she gets older. She always gets other people’s attention; further became selfish and self-centered. Jealousy became more evident here. Matchmaking is her “greatest amusement in the world (Austen, 2005).” She finds it as “an amusement” – an entertainment, rather than being concerned to help others. Unlike Asher, that thought about her parents’ dream despite his urge of becoming an artist. As compared to Huck, growing by himself gave him a mature mind even if his family wasn’t there support him, while Emma with all the luck in her life, this didn’t seem to help in her sense of maturity. She didn’t have “genuine” good intentions when dealing with other people’s problem.

The theme of My Name is Asher Lev is more on ambition. Asher was “born with a gift” (Potok, 2004), his love of art. He was raised well by his parents but things shifted when his gift became much evident as he matured. He was torn between this gift and being a server of the church. He thought of his life as he was living with his family and how was it like without them. Asher chose the world of art at the end of the story. Compared to Huck, he has grown to think for his own future, they are both independent at this aspect. However, Huck’s really with the “complete” independence. Contrastingly with Emma that has grown immature despite all the good things in her life, the wealthy life and all the love in the world.


All the protagonists in the novels were of moral thought. They have grown in different ways but arrived in good morals. The novels want its readers to reflect. Maturity is just a matter of self-reliance and be able to decide and think by myself.


  • Austen, J. (2005). Emma. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 13.
  • Potok, C. (2004). My name is Asher Lev. New York: Rosetta Books.
  • Twain, M. (2004). The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. London: Collector’s Library. p. 5.
Did it help you?