When Samuel Langhorne Clemens first published his story, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was criticized severely. On top of that, the book was banned from libraries and schools alike. The book was thought to be a bad influence on children because it represents the breaking of the law as moral, it recommends disobedience and defiance on the part of young people, it portrays churchgoers as hypocritical, and the most admirable characters in the book habitually lie and steal and loaf (Johnson XII). In this day and time, though, the book has become required reading for many schools, and is found in almost every library in the country. Why has there been a change in attitude about the book? I believe that it was Twain's ideas on slavery, and his views on the "code of honor" of the South that made critics and readers alike come to love his book and see it for what it really was below the surface.
Twain was completely and utterly against slavery. He viewed it as immoral and wrong. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain writes on two aspects of slavery that particularly bothered him. One is the legal concept of the slave as property, and the other is the endorsement and support of slavery on religious and moral grounds by the established church. Repeatedly in the novel, the reader is reminded of the cruel absurdity by which one human being pretends to own another, much as one would own a cow or a horse, and that this is done in the name of religion adds makes it even more perverse (Johnson 110). The idea of a slave as property is introduced immediately after Jim, one of the main characters and a slave, runs away. He speaks of himself as property: "...
... middle of paper ...
...m completely that it was a very foolish way of life.
Adams, Richard P., Unity and Coherence of Huckleberry Finn. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Simpson, Claude M., ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1968.
Crowley, Donald J., ed. One Hundred Years of Huckleberry Finn: The Boy, His Book, and American Culture. Columbia: U of Missouri, 1985.
Johnson, Claudia Durst. Understanding Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood P, 1996.
Poirier, Richard, Huck Finn and the Metaphors of Society. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Simpson, Claude M., ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1968.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (1884) Secaucus: Castle, 1987.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” In “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” written by Mark Twain, the author composes a commentary on the misguided ideas held by Southerners in the pre-Civil War era towards African Americans, who they saw as barbaric individuals void of intellect and morals. Mark Twain shows this through his portrayal of the relationship between Jim, the “escaped slave,” and Huckleberry Finn, the runaway child. Much like his Southern brethren, Huck was reared with an embedded discrimination toward the African American people, seeing them as nothing more than a primitive and selfish species.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn]
1470 words (4.2 pages)
- Mark Twain revealed both the weaknesses of the American Character and our ability to grow as human beings in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn through his exploration of Huck’s pursuits of freedom. Throughout the story, both Huckleberry and Jim seek to find their own versions of freedom. In the beginning, Huckleberry Finn wanted to be free from the attempts of the Widow Douglas and Mrs. Watson to civilize him with the social conventions of attending school, following rules and minding his manners.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn]
1138 words (3.3 pages)
- The story of Huckleberry Finn is an interesting one as it combines much of the ideas of the old world with the ideas of the new modern world coming in Mark Twain combines the modern world of his time and the nostalgia of the old world in the character of Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn has long been considered one of the most iconic storybook characters ever created possibly because of the combination of the old world and the modern. In this essay I will be exploring the representation of the modern world and its connection to the old world of Mark Twain’s time is about it I will be exploring in this paper.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer]
1252 words (3.6 pages)
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, is an academically acclaimed American novel that is well known within the country. Even though, most readers are unaware that it is one of the top novels that is banned in most academic curriculum across the country due its explicit racial controversy. The context within the novel has had to be re-written to suit the delicate views of some readers. Even though it is an extraordinary story, the time in which the novel was written is that of a time were the language was just acceptable.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]
1645 words (4.7 pages)
- Akash Mishra English IIH Ms. Buckley 16 March 2015 Huck Finn and Jim in High Schools Across the Country In The Green Hills of Africa, Ernest Hemmingway stated that “all modern American Literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn’…There has been nothing as good since.” The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, has been praised by various authors since its publication in 1884 because of the quality of the writing. The novel takes place in the 1840s, slightly before the Civil War.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mississippi River]
1974 words (5.6 pages)
- The book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in December of 1884. It was first banned in Concord, Massachusetts from the Concord Public Library in March of 1885. Since it was first published, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been opposed and banned. The book is powerful and provides an amazing window into what this country was like in the time period it takes place in, banning this book is not an ethical thing to do because readers learn and grow from it and people should know how the United States was in that time period so that we do not regress and move backwards as a society.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]
1274 words (3.6 pages)
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, teaches us different ways of the life of an orphan, and the lives of the different social classes back in the days of slavery. As the story progressed and Huck Finn continued his journey, he discovered different social institutions. Three social institutions I recognized being criticized were gangs, aristocracy, and slavery itself. In the beginning of the story, Tom Sawyer formed a gang, and Huck Finn joined him. Later on, Huck Finn and Jim lose their raft from a ferry crushing it, so Huck Finn swims to land and ends up coming across an aristocrat 's family 's home, the Grangerfords.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer]
1060 words (3 pages)
- Twain’s famous novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, plays on the mentality and social structure of his time and its people. He saw the critical weaknesses in our values and ideals as a society during his life. He wanted to express his satirical views to the public and bring light to our society’s problems. Twain had successfully accomplished his task when he published the controversial book that is still argued today. Huckleberry Finn shows how major themes like education, religion, and morality, can be seen in his view.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]
1252 words (3.6 pages)
- Mark Twain is a one of the famous American author who set a milestone in American literature history. He used a humor and ironic elements in his book to portray the lesson to his readers. Also, he liked to satirize the social system and morality to educate the people. Therefore, in his three famous works, The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, The Mysterious Stranger, he satirized the human’s selfishness, evilness, and greediness. The society near the Mississippi river in 1840 was a classic southern society that wanted to keep the existing value and tradition included a slavery.... [tags: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain]
2098 words (6 pages)
- Importance of the River in The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn In the novel The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn the setting has a large influence on Huck's character. The period of time that Huck lived in was a distinct era. The country was changing rapidly. During this period steam engines enabled rivers to be used as mass transportation, an idea that had never been explored until now. Waterways were the first way in which large amounts of goods could be transported efficiently.... [tags: The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn]
1153 words (3.3 pages)