Samuel L. Clemens, or Mark Twain as he liked to be called, was a writer who shared his thoughts about society through his stories. However, when writing his famous story called The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he did not only demonstrate those thoughts in the book, he envisioned them through the mind of a boy. The southern U.S. society of the time had its own ideals and standards. African Americans had to be owned by a white, religion was to be respected, —not at all times— and abolitionists had to be abominated. Women were not exempted from these “rules” of the southern community. They were to stay at home and assume a stereotypical role, which were very common in the 19th century America. Mark Twain was aware of these stereotypes, and so he included them very clearly in the story. However, although many may think that these stereotypes are bad, they are quite the opposite in this book, because thanks to them, female characters are able to influence Huck’s decisions, which are essential to the plot’s progression. The Widow Douglas, Miss Watson, and Mary Jane Wilks are some examples of female characters with stereotypical roles who heavily contribute to the shifts in Huck’s morality and the development of the story.
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there are three main stereotypes, and three women strongly follow them. They are The Mother, The Old Maid, and The Virgin, which are stereotypes that appear in many books of fiction (Savitt). Although not mentioned very often in the book, the Widow Douglass seems to follow the role of The Mother. She “starts out as all good, as the provider of life, a nurturer” (Savitt). It might be hard to believe, but it is likely that she, above ...
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...ars of going to hell for trying to free a “nigger.” Mary Jane Wilks, “the girl who made the most sand,” was possibly the most influential one of all to Huckleberry Finn. With her innocence and “virgin” stereotype, she was the first to make him feel pity for someone, because he admired the innocence that he knew he did not have himself. He felt inspired by them in some sort, and because of that, Mary Jane made Huck want to defend her and the Wilks sisters. If I were to say anything about the book of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and its female characters, I would say that they are more relevant that the male characters themselves. If it weren’t for the books different female characters, Huckleberry Finn would have had a shallower and more uninteresting identity. They are what make Huck who he is, without them, there would be no Huck, and there would be no novel.
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