• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Mark Twain uses the plot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to reveal the truths about life in the South during the 1800's.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Huckleberry Finn Twain's Pre-Civil War America American authors tend to write about life in their times. Mark Twain lived in the 1800's and witnessed the Civil War era. At that time, our nation was divided over the issue of slavery. The inhumane treatment of slaves moved Twain to use his talent to criticize their treatment. In one of his most famous novels named The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain depicts the injustice of slavery in the South just before the Civil War. To begin with, Mark Twain uses the plot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to reveal the truths about life in the South during the 1800's. For starters, slavery proved to be one of the most predominant aspects of southern life at that time. The birth of Mark Twain occurred during this era of slavery, so racism surrounded Twain his whole life. Twain based his writings upon his own personal experiences. Critics agree that, "The book is a strong voice against racism, but at the same time some passages mirror the values of the racist society Mark was raised in" (Meltzer 89). ...read more.

Middle

An obvious quest for freedom in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn would be that of Jim, an escaped slave. Huck meets Jim and they grow to become exceptional friends. Salwen explains, "It's about a slave who breaks the law and risks his life to win his freedom and be reunited with his family"(1). Huck contributes much aid to Jim's mission for freedom, and thus learns many truths about society. Meltzer elaborates, "Huck helps Jim to escape from slavery, and in a famous scene Huck's spontaneous self is placed in opposition to his acquired conscience, to the prejudices and values of the society he was raised in" (89). In addition to Jim's pursuit of freedom, Huck hopes for his own independence. By escaping and traveling along the Mississippi River, Huck aspires to gain Freedom for both of them. Unger illustrates, "The next twenty chapters detail adventures on the river or beside the river, in a pattern of withdrawal and return, as Huck and Jim float with their raft toward what they hope will be freedom for both" (203). ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, many readers have felt positively towards the novel. They believe that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has caused society to recognize the mistakes of the past. Hall emphasizes, "Initially a clowning humorist, Twain matured into the role of the seemingly naive wise Fool whose caustic sense of humor forced his audience to recognize humanity's foolishness and society's myriad injustices" (6:452). Along with this recognition came the realization that the treatment of slaves was inhumane. "To its everlasting credit, American society in the postwar period gradually came to the conclusion...that the ancient pattern of discrimination against Negroes was morally and legally indefensible," states Lynn (6:484). Finally, not only does Twain possess a negative view of slavery, he also has a distaste for war. In conclusion, Mark Twain utilizes the plot in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to express the immorality of life in the South during the 1800's. He depicts the code of slavery in the South and the quest for independence of a slave and a young boy. Additionally, Twain's work produced a wide range of readers' responses. Finally,Twain's last major work Pudd'nhead Wilson also strongly spoke out against slavery. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Mark Twain section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mark Twain essays

  1. Huckleberry Finn Persuasive

    In the beginning Huck is apart of society but later he leaves it and starts to hate society, causing the reader to question society and its views of what's acceptable and what isn't. Twain himself was not a racist man what so ever, he has never been found guilty of

  2. Views of stereotypes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

    This shows the reasoning ability that Jim has. He knows that since the King is from France he should be able to speak French. Huck interprets this as Jim wanting to hear French, but what Jim is actually trying to do is to verify the King's story and keep themselves safe.

  1. Many critics have made attempts to discredit "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by pointing ...

    In the last episode, he is the educated, morally responsible person. Therefore, he is concerned when he learns that Tom plotted Jim's escape to freedom only for the "adventure of it"(289.) Certainly Jim's plight was not a game to the serious-minded Huck and though he does not openly condemn Tom

  2. In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain discusses facets of past ...

    (Page 19). In his statement, Pap is basically chastising Huck for trying to become something more than his father. Pap is a symbol of the worst members of white society; he is ignorant, uneducated, an alcoholic and profoundly racist. He often rants about how the "govment" has done him wrong.

  1. Critical Analysis of Huckleberry Fin

    5) {4} An exile in the roles imposed upon him, Huck seeks the communion of self and other, "me" and "yow" (or "you") signaled by the call. And yet, even after he joins Tom, his objective descriptions figure the persisting melancholia of his internal landscape.

  2. Huck finn hero or villian?

    Huck can be characterized as having dubious morals through his actions and reasoning. Huck justifies some of his immoral actions, such as stealing, by using his pap's own actions as a precedent. Quirk states, "Huck is often capable of pseudomoralizing, citing his pap as authority for lifting a chicken or borrowing a melon" (92).

  1. Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essays - review

    The art of telling a humorous story-understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print-was created in America and has remained at home. (159) Twain satirizes the south for its seriousness on certain matters. "I think one of the most notably southern traits of Mark Twain's humor is its power of seeing the fun of southern seriousness"(Bernadette 175).

  2. Literary analysis of "Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"

    upon his mental faculties was too great.? Furthermore, Tom relates the story of a German boy who ?had once recited three thousand verses without stopping? and afterward suffered a nervous breakdown (Twain 56). In calling the boy?s collapse ?a grievous misfortune for the school? as the school relied on the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work