The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain


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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain is a novel depicting an era of southern society and environment and the ignorance of southernism opposition to slavery. It is written in southern dialect and seen through the adventures of two boys from different societies running away from civilization. The author bases the novel on the conflict between civilization and natural life. Throughout the novel, Twain seems to suggest that the uncivilized way of life is better: his belief is that civilization corrupts rather than improves human beings (etc,etc,etc). During the time of the novel, it was okay for children to be necessarily uncivilized and brought up based on their surrounding beliefs. Twain took Hucks views of Slavery, Social Acceptance, and religion to show how one cuold have broke free from the accpeted yet untested ways of society.
Civilization is that single understanding allowed by the set of values common to each member of a community. The Oxford English Dictionary defines civilization as "the action or process of civilizing or of being civilized: a developed or advanced sate of human society."(etc etc etc) In the novel Huckleberry Finn civilization was known as the suitable attire that you wore, a strong belief in religion, and the importance of education much like it is today. Huck was raised to be known as a uncivilized outcast in his village.People rejected him because they saw him as a trouble maker. Huck was raised outside of society, and this made it hard for him to conform. Huck revolted against the Widow Douglas and her attempts to dress him in clothes that were considered proper from young men.

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Hucks idea of suitable attire was his old rags and barefoot feet. Widow Douglas turned to her faith for all of her aspects in life. "She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it. But it waren't so. I tried it".(etcetcetc) Instead of praying for help in finding faith, he prays for a fishing line.
Huck saw no importance in religion. His views of praying also reflect his lack of serious concerns. Miss Watson tried to make Huck realize the importance of education by giving him lessons. Huck didn't see a reason why he should pay attention to his educational lessons from Miss Watson. Huck clearly states he does not want to conform to society in the beginning of the novel. Huck is not willing to change his ways to become "s"ivilized.
During the era of this novel slavery was a way of life for Southern African Americans. The South depended on the use of slavery for the economy, so it became a socially acceptable practice. Huck was starting to have so called "civilized" thoughts and simply accepted things such as slavery as a way of life. The slaves were placed in a category of society in which there was no other use for them other than working the fields. Most slaves were very unintellectual and had no education whatsoever. "he judged it was all up with him anyway it could be fixed; for if he didn't get saved he would get drownded; and if he did get saved, whoever saved him would send him back home so as to get the reward, and then Miss Watson would sell him South, sure. Well, he was right; he was most always right; he had an uncommon level head for a nigger." (pg. 81) Huck joins in the common belief that blacks are less intelligent than whites.
This is when Twain brought Jim into the novel to play the character of a Miss Watson's black slave in which Huck befriended. After Hucks runaway from civilization and society he meets up with Jim who has also escaped from his high standard as a slave. As Huck became closer with Jim he started believing differently and changed the way his heart felt about many things. Huck rarely shows remorse for making up stories, but he feels terrible after he plays a trick on Jim. Huck pretends that a terrible storm, which had separated the two travelers, never took place, and insists that Jim must have dreamed the entire episode. When Jim discovers the truth and expresses disappointment in his young friend, Huck swallows his pride and apologizes:
"It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I wasn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither." As their adventures down the Mississippi River continued Huck started questioning himself for assisting with the Negros escape, because he is violating strict slave laws, laws that can result in harsh penalites for whites. Huck treats Jim as a friend and an equal, but also rejects the common interpretation of the bible, that blacks are inferior to whites.We can now see that Huck is caring over his friends now and that he sticks by his morals as much as he can, and Huck's morals have changed a lot
since the beginning. He does not seem to enjoy lying to people anymore if it hurts others. His dislikes of hurting others with lies started from when he tricked Jim about the fog and felt bad. Huck became nervous when he was questioned about the missing runaway slave. "Then I thought a minute, and sayd to myself, hold on;s'pose you'd a done right and give Jim up, would you felt better than what you do now? No, says I, I'd feel bad -- I'd feel just the same way I do now. Well, then, says I, what's the use you learning to do right when it's troublesome to do right and ain't no trouble to do wrong, and wages, is just the same? I was struck. I couldn't answer that. So I reckoned I wouldn't bother no more about it, but after this always do whichever come handiest at the time." The Southern Opposition to Slavery was an accepted belief in the South.

Twain used a number of dialects in this book. The Missouri Negro dialect; the extremist form of the backwoods Southern dialect; the ordinary Pike County dialect; and the modified varieties. Twain used the different dialects through the characters so you could get a better understanding of the personalities traits.


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