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

Setting in Huck Finn and Siddhartha

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Setting is a powerful vehicle of thematic concerns; in fact, it is one of the most powerful". Using the two books, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Siddhartha, by Mark Twain and Herman Hesse respectively, I can proudly state that to a very huge extent, this statement proves true for both novels and helps to carry across the author's purpose in a clearer and more significant manner. Firstly in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the true setting behind the novel affects how the story is brought across to readers, depicting the happenings just as they are during that time. This novel is set and written in the 1800s where it wasn't considered immoral or erroneous to consider black people nothing more than property. People did not even consider mistreating blacks as racial, it was a social norm and everyone was okay with it. Slavery and racism did happen, and Twain did a great job in showing this ugly side of the world to the half of the world who had no idea at all. It was a fact and still remains a fact that most people in the 1800s were racist and even the kindest of people, symbolized by the Phelps', who was a family of God fearing, polite and kind people, still used the term nigger when they referred to their slaves. ...read more.

Middle

On the river, Twain emphasizes the free and easy nature of Huck, while introducing society and its conformity in Huck's time off the river. When Huck is traveling on the river, he can be and do whatever he wants. It's a completely informal situation, and he doesn't have to change to fit anyone else's rules. He can choose what he does without having to conform to an acceptable practice, even going so far sometimes as to travel on the raft naked because that's what's most comfortable for him. Because of the complete freedom that the river gives Huck, it represents his individuality. It's a place where he can be himself and not have to abide by society's rules. He also doesn't have to accept society's treatment of Jim and other slaves; as long as Huck and Jim are by themselves, they can live without the ideals of civilization. Huck's treatment of Jim on the river is just as it would be toward any good friends, and so without the watchful eye of society, Huck lives the way his true feelings dictate. He doesn't have to grapple with what society thinks he should do until he is faced with having to deal with its views. ...read more.

Conclusion

Everything that he encounters is merely a step in his journey toward finding his identity, and this, the true meaning of the novel, is played out with all of Huck's discoveries about man and the decisions that he makes. Now moving on to the book of Siddhartha, Herman Hesse makes use of the setting to depict the main themes in the novel. The river is the main symbol of completeness in the novel. Siddhartha and Vasudeva venerate it as a cosmic teacher, who binds the two sides of the universe together and links earth to eternity. The great river marks the center of the imaginary geography in Hesse's novel. Siddhartha crosses it several times. At first, when he is still a wandering ascetic (samana), he learns from the river that everything passes away in an endless flow that links life to death in the cosmic cycle of reincarnations. Later on, when he returns to the river as a ferryman, he experiences the revelation that the river has simultaneously contained, since time immemorial, all the nurturing energies and "images" of the world. Thus in conclusion, I can proudly state that through the implementations of an appropriate setting, both Mark Twain as well as Herman Hesse depict their themes in a clearer and more effective manner. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Reflections on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Tom is very adventurous and energetic, and is stuck in a fantasy world. He wanted to have adventures like the ones from stories and books that he read. Due to this, he has created Huck's final adventure in the book in order to satisfy his own desires.

  2. The Sivilization of Huckleberry Finn

    If they wanted us to call them kings and dukes, I hadn't no objections, 'long as it would keep peace in the family" (125). Derived from Huck's episode with Jim on the river, Huck's conscience was instilled with compliance. "I learnt that the best way to get along with his

  1. Long Days Journey Into Night

    The main occurrence of the play is the return of Mary's 'illness' - her return to taking morphine, and other than this very little else actually physically happens to any of the characters during the play. That her illness is actually characterised by a return to the past is particularly

  2. A Cycle of Change

    Personification is also used in this sonnet when the artist describes God/destiny (in the form of pen) "writing" his fate. Nor God nor destiny can write and so this human trait was given to them to make them seem more real to readers.

  1. Not Rounding Off, But Opening Out: Huckleberry Finn & Siddhartha

    The final episode, the Phelps Farm incident, is where the resolution of the novel's main point of tension is resolved. The black slave Jim is finally made a free man, having been "set free in her [Miss Watson's] will" after travelling down the Mississippi in search of freedom.

  2. Cat's Eye and Such a Long Journey

    On the contrary, with Elaine, change is almost constant throughout the novel. Her suffering in the hands of Cordelia, Grace, and Carol have left her scrambling for answers and questioning her sense of identity. As she matures into an adult, her haunting memories of her childhood continue to stay with her.

  1. History research - Early Australian bushrangers. English writing -my region and favourite authors.

    In his spare time, he endulged himself in literature and played a saxophone. He loved music, and each summer he would attend a band camp in the Ozark Mountains. His hard work paid off when he became top saxophone player at his school and won first chair in state band.

  2. Commentary on Night

    that God is everywhere in the world, that nothing exists without God, that in fact everything in the physical world is an "emanation" of the divine world. In other words, Eliezer has grown up believing that everything on Earth reflects God's holiness and power.

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