Huckleberry Finn Essay 2

916 words - 4 pages

Character Analysis: Huckleberry Finn Huckleberry Finn is one of the many milestones in modern literature. It stands as a testament to the genius the world knows as Mark Twain. Through clever use of "local color" and other literary devices, he is able to weave not only the entertaining tale of Huck and Jim, but also a powerful anti-slavery message, which became the cause of both negative criticism and critical acclaim. This embodiment of Mark Twain's ideals in the young Huck Finn is a perfect example of the many people and things Huck Finn poses as and represents in the novel. Throughout the tale, Huckleberry Finn is portrayed as being a master of masquerading around as another person and is the means by which Mark Twain conveys his views to the world. If Mark Twain could have written an autobiography about himself, he more than likely would describe himself as possessing many qualities similar to those of Huck Finn. The many encounters Huck has with the Mississippi River are drawn from Mark Twain's childhood home of Hannibal, Missouri, a town on the Mississippi. Even more important than childhood similarities; in the novel, Huck becomes more than just another character. He becomes a vessel by which Mark Twain shares his views with the world. In the South where he lived, there was still much bitterness towards ex-slaves and this dictated what was proper and what was not. Instead of writing a manifesto of his views, these views were consolidated with Huck's character. Through Huck's eyes, we are not only able to see Twain's views but we also see them justified. Twain's satirical view of religion manifests itself when Miss Watson confronts Huck on the subject of Heaven. She feels that Heaven is a place where "all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever, and ever." Huck is disgusted by this and says that he "didn't think much of it." and goes on to say that he wants to go to the "bad place" because the widow said that Tom Sawyer didn't have much of a chance of going to the "good place". Not only is this Twain's way of saying that religion, taken at face value, is bunk, but is also his observation of how society shapes the minds of those who choose to harmonize with it. At another point during the book, Huck assumes the guise of a girl...

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