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Journey of Life Illustrated in Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Keen wit, colloquial mastery, and incisive satire best epitomize the literary cadre of renowned American author and humorist, Samuel L. Clemens otherwise known as Mark Twain. Fellow compatriot and author, William Faulkner dubbed Mark Twain “the father of American Literature ( Jelliffe, 1956).” The use of numerous pen names and article submissions to obscure newspapers make an accurate compilation of his work difficult to ascertain. Despite this factor, his legendary masterpieces, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn catapulted him among literary greats and forever immortalized his work. Both are considered Great American novels and indicative of another Twain distinguishable trait, local color fiction or literary regionalism – a genre which reflects specific features of a particular region (people, dialect, customs, history, topography, etc.). A sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), commonly known as Huckleberry Finn or Huck Finn, colorfully depicts people/places along the great Mississippi River. Satirizing Southern antebellum society, the novel contains an array of themes which transcend time and cultural boundaries. Life is a journey which involves physical and mental experiences. The novel speaks to this unique experience/journey as well.
Set around 1839 with Huck Finn as the narrator, the novel is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri located along the Mississippi River. The tale commences with Tom Sawyer and Huck acquiring a large sum of money due to their previous adventures chronicled in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Attempting to civilize him and steer him from the wayward side, the Widow Douglass and h...


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...ive stereotyping of African Americans as evidenced by the abundant use of the word nigger and the minstrel show style comedy aura. Rather than challenging 19th century racial stereotypes, Twain in essence confirms it (Leonard and Railton). An extremely offensive and disparaging term, nigger is often associated with dark skinned people (African Americans, etc.). A nigger can also be “a person of any race or origin regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant, etc. (dictionary reference.com).” Contemptible/ ignorant behavior is glaringly reflective throughout planet via humanity (war, violence, racism, etc.) and the various institutions (religious, political economical, etc.). Suffice to say, Huckleberry Finn is the vehicle that Mark Twain uses to personify the human evolvement process (mental, spiritual, etc.) which is indelible and universal.


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