The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain Essay

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A plantation of innumerable acres, servants at one’s disposal, and freedom to do however one pleases. This is daily life for the protagonist of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, at the Grangerford household. Before residing with this family, Huckleberry Finn lived his entire life in St. Petersburg, a prewar Missouri town bordering the Mississippi River. Since making a daring escape with a runaway slave, Jim, he migrates to many towns. Throughout the book it becomes obvious that the house of the Grangerfords, an affluent family on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, is where he is most shaped. The juxtaposition between these two places status, morals, and overall appeal to Huckleberry serves as fantastic example of contrasting values of the time, shown through the symbolic nature of the settings. In the midst of the antebellum south, Mark Twain uses contrast between the Grangerfords’ and St. Petersburg to reflect opposing ethics of the time, and Huck’s views towards both.
Having not been properly raised in society, Huck shows disdain for almost all forms of civilization that his new caretaker, Widow Douglas, introduces to him initially. The clothes he is forced to wear make him “feel all cramped up,” he finds it “rough living in a house all the time,” and “[grumbling] a little over the victuals” is mandatory (4, ch 1). Yet when he is at the Grangerfords, the epitome of copacetic pre-war society, Huck enjoys himself thoroughly. The abrupt change in feeling shown by him here prompts the question of what is so enamoring about the Grangerfords versus the rest of St. Petersburg, when the rules in each place are virtually the same. The answer is more obvious than it seems; the Grangerfords are the least flawed family Huck has met...


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...ng with this family, Huck would not have known such empathy towards anyone, especially a boy he knows for less than a week. St. Petersburg formed Huck’s personality, and the Grangerfords shaped it.
Between abolition, voting rights, and a country being on the brink of war with itself, this time in American history is one that had some of the most diverse opinions ever present in one society. Mark Twain makes his opinions on these people very apparent, not only through the satire present in his entire novel, but in making two areas of the same country so pointedly different. Without these two places in the novel, Twain’s view on the type of folk in the antebellum south would have been much more obfuscated, his judgement of these people becoming lost on the reader. Truly, these locales were integral to the plot, and many themes of the book like Huck’s growth as a person.

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