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Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn


“His writing also served to voice his running commentary on American society. Thinly veiled behind the mask of humor and satire, Clemens' writing often critiqued social morals, politics and human nature, making his literature a unique reflection of the American experience in the latter part of the nineteenth century.”

http://www.marktwainhouse.org/theman/index.shtml


Twain s attitude toward slavery http classiclit about com od marktwainfaqs f faq mtwain slav htm
Twain’s Attitude Toward Slaveryhttp://classiclit.about.com/od/marktwainfaqs/f/faq_mtwain_slav.htm

“His father was a judge, but he also traded in slaves at times. His uncle, John Quarles, owned 20 slaves; so Mark Twain witnessed the practice of slavery first-hand whenever he spent summers at his uncle's place.”

“When he was still a young boy, Mark Twain witnessed the brutal murder of a slave in his home town of Hannibal by the slave's owner, who killed the man with a thrown rock for ‘merely doing something awkward.’"


“It shows that that strange thing, the conscience--the unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve, if you begin its education early and stick to it.“

Twain http://classiclit.about.com/od/huckleberryfinnfaqs/f/faq_huck_slave.htm


The adventures of huckleberry finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve, if you begin its education early and stick to it.“

Mark Twain

1884


  • sat⋅ire unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve, if you begin its education early and stick to it.“dictionary.com

  •    /ˈsætaɪər/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [sat-ahyuhr] Show IPA

  • –noun 1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. 2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule. 3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.


Subjects of satire in huck finn
Subjects of Satire in unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve, if you begin its education early and stick to it.“Huck Finn

  • Civilized Society of the 19th Century

  • Slavery/Racism

  • Romanticism

  • Christianity


Twain’s Portrayal of Slavery in unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve, if you begin its education early and stick to it.“Huck Finnhttp://classiclit.about.com/od/huckleberryfinnfaqs/f/faq_huck_slave.htm

  • “Mark Twain portrays Jim as a deeply caring and loyal friend. Jim becomes a father figure to Huck, opening the boy's eyes to the human face of slavery.”

  • “Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Huckleberry Finn knew, as did Mark Twain, that Jim was not only a slave but a human being [and] a symbol of humanity... and in freeing Jim, Huck makes a bid to free himself of the conventionalized evil taken for civilization by the town.’”


Romanticism http www fellowshipofreason com archives 4heroes htm
Romanticism unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve, if you begin its education early and stick to it.“http://www.fellowshipofreason.com/archives/4heroes.htm

  • Literary period between 1798 and 1832 (extended period 1770 – 1870)

  • Some Characteristics of a Romantic Hero

    • Birth and class unimportant

    • Eccentric moral codes

    • Loyalty to a particular project and to a community of like-minded others

Sometimes dark, brooding , isolated, moody,introspective


Many scholars believe the Romantic Period ended with the death of Sir Walter Scott, “who deftly blended European history (held to be a fit subject of study for mature, masculine minds) and entertaining picaresque narrative.”

http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/scott/pva170.html


Some important characters
Some Important Characters death of Sir Walter Scott, “who deftly blended European history (held to be a fit subject of study for mature, masculine minds) and entertaining picaresque narrative.”

  • Tom Sawyer – represents the Romantic Hero

  • Pap – Huck’s father; low-class, uneducated, cruel

  • Miss Watson – represents religious hypocrisy

  • Widow Douglas – Huck’s guardian

  • Jim – slave Huck tries to save from slave catchers

  • The King and the Duke – con-artists; represent cruelty



  • The Phelps owners; feuding with Sheperdsons– Tom’s aunt and uncle; they end up with ownership of Jim

  • Dr. Robinson – recognizes the King and Duke as frauds

  • The Wilks – represent goodness; conned by the King and Duke


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