Huck Finn Research Essay, Research Paper
Overview of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is probably Mark Twain?s most well-known and famous novel. It was written in 1885 and banned by the Concord, Massachusetts Library that same year because of ?rough language?. Even though it was written so long ago it still remains a classic today. Mark Twain?s style, literary devices, satire, and dialect all contributed to its success.
In the beginning of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck is presented a large amount of money. This causes his delinquent lifestyle to change drastically. Huck gets and education and a home to live in with a caring woman. One would think that Huck would be satisfied. However, he wasn?t because he wanted his old lifestyle back. When Huck?s drunk father returns, he is unhappy with Huck. He feels that no son should live better than his father. He tries to take Huck?s money, but fails repeatedly. He then takes Huck and brings him to a cabin on the outskirts of town. Huck tries to escape but cannot. He then stages his own kidnapping and murder, and takes a raft to the Mississippi River. He meets up with a runaway slave, Jim, when they decide to leave the area. They both escape big problems and continue their road to freedom.
In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, uses many different literary devices, including ?real? language, diction and satire. Twain?s style is simple and conveys his ideas in a boyish mood. The book is somewhat of an irony in itself because of this style. He gives his complex observations on society through the eyes and through the speech of a young boy out for adventure. He also pays close attention to detail in dealings with the different areas down the river, especially in speech and dialogue. ?Real? language is the way the characters talk, of the time period that people really spoke. Twain wrote his novel this way and it was more effective because one can learn to understand the characters. Diction is the choice and use of words in speech and writing. Twain tells the story through Huck Finn and his diction is typical of the southern speech of a young boy during that time and area. ?This later book, Huckleberry Finn, has the great advantage of being written in autobiographical form? (T.S. Perry, 2). The diction is very informal. This makes the diction simple and easy to understand with humorous differences between this writing style and other more formal ones. Much of the descriptions and imagery is humorous in this way. Twain also uses a lot of irony. Twain?s also pays close attention to the diction of the speech of the various people from the various areas down the river. The writing style in this book is not formal, but simply the speech of a young boy. He used the dialect of a young southern boy. Mark Twain was a master of satire, which is a type of humor to make fun of something, which is really not funny. He uses this throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. For example, in chapter 8, Huck?s father was drunk and chased Huck around in a locked log cabin with a knife telling Huck that he was going to kill him. Twain elaborated this scene as a joke with Huck outrunning his drunk and clumsy father.
Slavery is probably the most important theme and one that has been debated the most often since Huck Finn was first published. Mark Twain himself was opposed to slavery and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn can be seen as a novel showing why slavery is wrong. Twain uses Jim, a slave who is one of the main characters, as a way of showing the human side of a slave. Everything about Jim is presented through emotions. For example, Jim runs away because Miss Watson was going to sell him and separate him from his family. Jim is trying to become free so he can buy his family’s freedom. Jim takes care of Huck and protects him on their journey downriver. Therefore Mark Twain’s purpose is to make the reader feel sympathy for Jim and anger against the society that would harm him. Another main theme of the novel is the conflict between civilization and “natural life.” Huck represents natural life through his freedom of spirit, his uncivilized ways, and his desire to escape from civilization. He was brought up without any rules and has a strong resistance to anything that might civilize him. This conflict is introduced in the first chapter when Widow Douglas tries to force Huck to wear new clothes and study the Bible. Throughout the novel, Twain seems to suggest that the uncivilized way of life is better. The theme of honor also appears in the novel. This theme is introduced in the second chapter when Tom believes that there is a great deal of honor associated with being robbers. This theme also occurs throughout the rest of the book. Tom and Huck both become literal robbers at the end of the novel. They both want to steal Jim out of slavery and while doing this they act honorable. Therefore honor, and acting in a way to earn honor, becomes an important theme in this novel.
Most critics think The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a great work of literature. ?The story of Huck Finn will probably stand as the best of Mark Twain’s purely fictional writings? (Paine, 1). ?Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has one of the most brilliant and unusual opening lines in American literature: “You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,’ but that don’t matter.” (Zwick, 1) Also most critics agree that it is a controversial piece of literature and some people even consider it to be racist. ?If Mark Twain was alive today, he would probably be appearing at libraries and in online chat rooms during Banned Books Week to discuss the fate of his own books? (Zwick, 2).
In conclusion, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic piece of literature, which people will be reading in years to come. Mark Twain is a brilliant author and his simple style and young southern boy point of view contributed to the success of this novel.
?The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.? Online Literature Library. 29 June 1999. Knowledge Matters Ltd. 10 December 2000.
Cavendish, Marshall. ?American Classics.? Great Writers of the English Language, V.7. 1989.
?Huckleberry Finn Spark Notes.? SparkNotes. 14 December 2000. I-Terf. 10 December 2000.
Paine, Albert. ?Huck Finn Comes Into His Own.? About.com. 12 December 2000.
Perry, T.S. ?Century Reviews.? 10 December 2000. Reviews of Huckleberry Finn.
Zwick, Jim. ?Banned Books and American Culture.? 14 December 2000. About.com. 10 December 2000.