Demoralizing Society and Regionalism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Demoralizing Society and Regionalism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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Regionalism is emphasizing the local characteristics of a region whether they are good or bad. A regional writer is someone that writes what they feel is being abused universally through a person or place, and should be fixed. Regionalism usually results in criticizing a person, place, or country through literary techniques, such as symbolism, satire, and conflict. Mark Twain is known as a regional writer to some because of the geographic region he uses that exemplifies the country as a whole. Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, falls into the regionalism category because of its universal themes of slavery, morals, and society.
Huck Finn was set in the Old South near the Mississippi River where slavery was still in effect. The whites treated African Americans poorly by calling them names, giving them poor living conditions, and lack of freedom. Slavery and racism fall into the regionalism category because not only was it adamant in the southern “slave” states but in the northern “free” states as well. An example would be, “Here’s a govment that calls itself a govment, and lets on to be a govment, and thinks it is a govment, and yet’s got to set stock-still for six whole months before it can take ahold of a prowling, thieving, infernal, white-shirted free nigger” (Twain 21). Huck’s father is criticizing the government because an intelligent and well-dressed African American had the same freedoms as him. Another example, from Jim’s point of view is “Ole Missus [Miss Watson] she pecks on me all de time, en treats me pooty rough, but she awluz said she wouldn’ sell me down to Orleans…but she could git eight hund’d dollars for me…she couldn’ resis’” (33). From a slave’s point of view, he is stating that his owner w...


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...m as a theme because he knew everyone deserved it and it would have saved a lot of trouble and lives. Inclusively, “Jim said it made him all over trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom” (66). Twain’s idea was that society could never be civilized unless they take control of their actions and give equal freedom to all.
Huck Finn will always be characterized as a bildungsroman in the literary canon. This is through the subjects presented and how Huck matures through those subjects. Twain expressed his ideas of a civilized society that are considered universal in the novel. He believed society should abolish slavery, gain morals, and become more civilized. Twain uses regionalism to critique an implication by using a person, place, or era. Twain is known as a regional writer, or “universal writer” because of his views on imprisonment, principles, and humanity.


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