Huck Finn Essay

1170 words - 5 pages

Controversial, beautiful and very distinct time periods are often captured through the novels written by clever and talented authors who lived in these times. These types of novels usually bring the readers back to that time as if they were actually there. Mark Twain criticizes many aspects of the 1880's in the southern United States in his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In the late 19th century, the life of African Americans was not great and will always be remembered through history. Mark Twain did a great job in recording the African American life. The setting in the 1880's around the Mississippi River was like no other, and is also very well captured through the work of Twain. ...view middle of the document...

Mention is made of Mark Twain's dislike of slavery in a biography of himself:" despite his own dislike for the practice of slavery"¦" (Press, p. 29) The description of the Mississippi setting is a very distinct and accurate one. Twain makes strong emphasis on the dialect that his characters use throughout the novel. The entire dialog is written in a Southern United State accent that was used in the late 19th century. Most of the major parts that happen in the novel happen in proximity of the Mississippi River. Jim saw Huck's father's body in the cabin that floated by, while Jim was on the island. Huck and Jim met the Duke and Dauphin also in the proximity of the river. Jim and Huck used the river as their primary traveling aid. The river symbolizes a journey of life for both Jim and Huck. Huck says: "Sometimes we'd have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest time"¦. It's lovely to live on a raft. " (Twain, p. 109) In the 1880's, the Mississippi River was very important for the people who lived around it. Many used it as their main method of transportation and got around in ferryboats and steamboats. Mark Twain demonstrates that education was not very important in the late 19th century in the Southern U.S. Many of the children did not go to school and were sometimes forced not to go despite their own will. Many of Huck's group of friends did not go to school, including Huck, except when the Widow forced him to go. When Huck's dad, Pap, first got introduced in this novel, he did not want Huck to go to school because he didn't want his son to be smarter than he was. Pap says: I'll learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs over his own father and let on to be better'n what he is . . . Your mother couldn't read, and she couldn't write, nuther, before she died. None of the family couldn't before they died. I can't; and here you're a-swelling yourself up like this. I ain't the man to stand it-you hear? (Twain. p. 19-20) Also, in those...

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