The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“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.” (Twain, ix) Mark Twain opens his book with a personal notice, abstract from the storyline, to discourage the reader from looking for depth in his words. This severe yet humorous personal caution is written as such almost to dissuade his readers from having any high expectations. The language in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is completely “American” beyond the need for perfect grammar. “Mark Twain’s novel, of course, is widely considered to be a definitively American literary text.” (Robert Jackson, 48-Regional Theory) Mark Twain deliberately flaunts the use of improper American language and with this novel asks the question “Are you required to speak perfect English in order to be considered a hero?” This notice is most likely written as his response to his own fears that this radically new style of language and writing would undoubtedly be rejected and unacceptable for society. In reality this book has become an infamous and classic story, very contrary to Mr. Twain’s personal opinion.
“Twain, on the basis of this notice, seems to enlist in the Romantic camp.” (Fertel, 158 – Free and Easy) In his total disregard for traditional and predictable European literature, Twain writes in a manner that can be construed as part of the Romantic Movement. It could also be the first real step toward the Naturalist Movement when looking at the realistic American accent and language, which Mark Twain explains in his Explanatory. “In this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary “Pike County” dialect. . .” (Twain, ix) He openly and firstly acknowledges the irregularities in this story and explains that it is not on a whim that he uses this specific type of language but with the purpose to expose the world to a new and original form of literary design. The main character in this story is Huckleberry Finn, the complete opposite of a traditional European hero; he is not the typical king or nobleman that traditional stories tell of. He is an everyday boy uneducated and seemingly unworthy, Huckleberry Finn is the epitome of a real American every day hero. Mr. Twain writes this book as a way to show that just by simply maturing and growing up so that Huckleberry Finn can make the right decisions in all aspects of his life; it makes him a noble character. “We are asked to trust this not as a sport, but rather as a well-considered and well-honed document. . . We are invited to experience and to appreciate this narrative in terms of its thought, its thoughtfulness, and its craft.” (Fertel, 159 –Free and Easy”)
A major theme in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is slavery and our evolvement towards the institution. ...