The picaresque novel, which first originated in Spain, is a type of fiction. There are many characteristics that need to be meet in order to have a true picaresque novel. Generally the story is given in a first person narrative. The main character is referred to as the picaro and usually is a member of the low class. The novel usually lacks a visible plot, instead it is told in a sequence of different adventures. The picaro character is usually used to point out the hypocrisies and wrongdoings of society while giving a glimpse of life through the eyes of the poor. Unlike most “hero’s” the picaro is not looking change his ways and move up in class. They reject normal society and prefer to live their life in a more rugged uncivilized way. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic exampled of picaresque novel. The main character Huckleberry Finn narrates the story. Twain portrays Huck Finn as a low class uneducated kid who fakes his own death to leave society and embark on numerous adventures that lead to the ultimate test of friendship.
The beginning of the book starts out with Huck getting taken in by the Widow Douglas who is doing her best to civilize him since he is in all sense an orphan. However, Huck doesn’t want any part of that and ends up leaving. “ I couldn’t stand it any longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied” (3). At first you can assume that this is just natural behavior for a young boy to want his freedom. However, through out the book it becomes clear that the real reason has to do with how Hucks feels about the society he lives in. Although, living in the wild off the land without an education or job is looked down on in a normal ...
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...e south. So when Huck said he would go to hell to free Jim rather then doing the “right” thing it shows a real break through in the novel. Huck knows if Jim were to go back he would be punished, so Huck decides to do what is right as a friend rather then was is right in societies eyes. His relationship with Jim build on the river has become too strong to be sabotaged by the norms of civilization, further backing Huck’s crave for isolation. When taken out of that setting and put in a different one, personal moral and human compassion were far to strong not to over through previous unjust beliefs. Once again this brings us back to the river, which made this all possible. Huck was able to create his own opinion about the type of person Jim was, based on their adventures. Since it was just them on the rive Huck did not have any outside influence helping shape his view.
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