Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Notice Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By Order of the Author Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.
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Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
By Order of the Author
Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance
and don’t read.” Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has
always been popular with readers; at the same time it
has had many critics attempt to censor it.
The picaresque novel was introduced as a genre of fiction in 18th c. Spain. It is usually satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society.
A Picaro’s adventures often involved escaping from the law.A knight’s adventure
The book was written over a number of years.
Twain started it in 1876 and finished it in 1883.
It was originally intended as a number of episodes that satirized faults of American society.
Originally Twain thought that Huck would flee Pap’s cabin and encounter a number of adventures across land.
But Twain knew and loved the river and so he set Huck afloat.
When Huck discovers Jim on Jackson’s Island, he has a companion and a new focus.
Supposedly the two will book steamboat passage at Cairo, BUT…
There’s one little problem.FREEDOM?
Twain wanted to write about life in the South along the river – he did not really want to send his characters north and write about unfamiliar territory.
Therefore, he got stuck in the middle and abandoned the book for some years.
-- Edward Said
(Palestinian-American Literary Theorist)
He sees the truth about society. His “death” at the start of the book is a kind of burying of his past and conventions.
Huck gradually comes to see Jim as a real person, not as a stereotypical slave. First is Jim’s remorse over tricking Jim about being separated in the fog:
“It was 15 minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a n…-but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither.”
In chapter 31, after Huck writes a letter telling the widow where to find Jim he says to himself:
“’All right then, I’ll go to hell’” –and tore it up.”
“What you want, above all things, on a raft, is for everybody to be satisfied, and feel right and kind towards others.”
the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons
Col. Sherburn and others.
The King and the DukeContrast to Town
-Members of the Public Library of Concord, Massachusetts banned the book because it was "rough, coarse and inelegant, dealing with a series of experiences not elevating, the whole book being more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people."
During the 1990’s it was one of the most frequently challenged books, primarily because of its language.
The minstrel showwas an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface.
Minstrel shows lampooned black people as ignorant, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, joyous, and musical.
Do scenes—such as those with the king and Duke – portray Jim in this light?
“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn…It’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”
What is in the ellipses?
“If you read it you must stop where the Nigger Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real ending.”
Indeed, many find the foolishness of Tom nearly unbearable. Once again, Jim’s humanity is denied and Huck falls under Tom’s spell.
“But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.”
Like Holden Caulfield, Huck cannot find any good in society and cannot abide by its rules.
Unlike Holden who is hospitalized, Huck can set out on another adventure – seeking freedom from rules and an escape from hypocrisy.