Literary Essay Example: Review of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Date:  2021-03-26 17:13:19
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The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is one of the few regalia of brilliance and excellence. The 43-chaptered; well-illustrated novel was published in the year 1884 by Charles L. Webster & Co Publishers and has vied all odds by continuing to enthrall and educate through several generations of time since its publication. As a result, it has always been recognized and received several awards as one of the best among the great American novels in history. Some of the awards received are like Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award and American Childrens Literary Awards ("The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn - CHAPTER 1"). Twain in this book uses the contemporary vernacular English of the South and black dialects of his time. It is written in immediate past tense with a tone of mockery and irony which in specific occasions is also exuberant.

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The plot of this masterpiece centers a young boy by the name Finn who happens to be an enthralling character of about thirteen to fourteen years of age. Though brought up by an alcoholic character as a dad, Finn finds it so difficult identifying himself in the society he lives in (Bloom 46). The writer as portrayed in The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn places these characters in the geographical setting of Missouri-Hannibal; a place happening to be on the shores of the great river of Mississippi. In such a setting; each of these several characters has a role to play and a part to fulfill in the plot of the narrative.

There is Widow Douglas a widow who adopts Finn after he happened to have helped her out during a fire invasion. Then; Miss Watson who is Widow Douglas own sister. This character is a spinster and lives with her sister Douglas. Jim, is the slave to Miss Watson while Tom Sawyer is Hucks best friend and peer who happen to be the smartest kid and the best fighter in town. Other characters highlighted in the plot include the Duke and the King, Mary Jane, Joanna, Susan Wilks, Doctor Robinson, the Grangerfords and Aunt Sally together with Uncle Silas Phelps all who have special roles in the development of the plot.

Twain commences the narrative with prelude of a previous adventure in another narrative (Adventures of Tom Sawyer) in which Finn and his fellow comes into contact with a large sum of money (Southard). Then he explains, as he builds the plot; on how Finn is put under the care of Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson who have attempted to civilize him through persuading him into religion. Realizing how much confining this civilization exposure thing is, Finn decides to escape. One by one with the unfolding of events, we see how Twain is creating a rise of action on the plot of his narrative.

Immediately after his escape from Widow Douglas, Finn meets up with Toms gang. He after some time gets bored of their unpleasant activities and decides to detach himself from them. It is at this point that Twain introduces another character; Pap who happens to be the biological father of Finn, though a senseless drunkard. The protagonist gets entangled with his fathers activities to an extent that they experience conflict of interest. He denies Pap his fortune since he was sure that the alcoholic guy would misuse his well earned fortune. At this juncture, Pap kidnaps Finn and decides to transit with him to the shores of Illinois. Up to this part of the plot, we notice that the writer is describing a theme. He highlights this artistic feature by unwrapping step, by step the parts played by Finn; a character, who is struggling against a society and its attempts to civilize him. This feature is made successful with the help of other characters; Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. Through these intrapersonal strings, the major conflict of the narrative is successfully created (Widger).

After the transit, Finn happens to have been settled in a rather comfortable life far from Widow Douglas and her civilizing attempts. Yet, with all that freedom, he is challenged by the severe beatings he gets from Pap. This prompts him to fake his own murder and later escapes down the Mississippi just to land few miles down the Jackson's Island. Here, he stumbles across Miss Watson's slave, Jim who due to absolute fear, runs away from him with the prospects of not getting sold into slavery. Both the slave-Jim and the protagonist-Huck, realize then that some men are coming in pursuit of them prompting their escape on a raft. During this process, Jim comes up with a formulated idea of traveling to Cairo. This loud thought becomes a problem to Finn and he lacks the ability of making a decision on whether to continue with Jim to Cairo or not. In the same context of thought, Jim is free to make up his mind. This section therefore builds the theme of slavery versus freedom. Finn is enslaved in following Jim to Cairo while Jim is free to tour whatever place he thinks of.

As they travel in a raft down the Mississippi river, they meet other characters including robbers aboard a wrecked steamboat and two Southern "genteel" families involved in a disagreement. Their once found freedom ends when they come across two other characters, the duke and the king. The duke and the king begin to take charge of the raft forcing Finn and Jim to stop at various river towns in order to perform confidence scams on the inhabitants. The scams posse no harm until the duke and the king decide to play as English brothers when plotting to steal a family's entire inheritance. Just before their plan matures, the real brothers arrive. From this section, we find the writers use of pros and cons as a feature of literature. He artistically describes in particular, the manner in which the whole process of conning by The Duke and The King took place; event after event. Then a feud pops up and Finn and Jim melt away secretly (Twain and Cooley 34-200).

As a result of shear disappointment having not earned anything from plotting the con, the duke and the king decide to sell Jim back into slavery. Finn then decides to look for his friend in whatever place he thought they might have sold him. In the process of looking for Jim, Finn realizes Jim is being held captive on Silas and Sally Phelps' farm where he decides to go free Jim. The Phelps thinking Finn is their visiting nephew; Tom Sawyer welcomes him. Finn, in order to avoid getting caught, disguises as Sawyer. Later, the real Tom Sawyer arrives and Finn quickly elaborates to him the reason for his disguise before things get nasty. Sawyer understands him and decides to take on the disguise of his own brother, Sid. He then decides to help Finn free Jim (Widger).. Tom devices a comprehensive plan on how to free Jim based on his knowledge on several escape novels he happened to have read. This method includes the use of ropes and ladders in freeing Jim. Ultimately they succeed but dont manage to escape since Sawyer is shot fracturing him in the calf. With the difficulty in escaping due to Sawyers injury, Jim is recaptured and taken back to the Phelps farm. Up to this point of the unfolding of events, the writer reaches the climax of the plot. He delivers the height of his content in an enthralling manner capturing several aspects of the contemporary Southern society (Twain and Hearn 21).

In the closing chapters of the novel, we realize that Miss Watson has passed away and freed Jim in a will she wrote. Sawyer being aware of Miss Watsons death and the will that she spoke on the statement of freedom of Jim; speaks out resulting to Jim getting freed. Finn on the other end ponders his next adventure away from civilization.

As the plot builds, climaxes and dies, we deduce several moral lessons and in the same time, identify figures of literature as used by Twain. First, we can deduce that due to the fact that the novel was published few years after the world war, early American society struggled with slavery and more of the after math of racism as portrayed via Twains allegorical representation of his work. The hypocritic level of civilization in this society was high and incorrigible. The morally fit characters such as Miss Watson and Sally Phelps neither, care about injustices posed as a result of slavery in the society nor have any sense of remorse on the cruelty of separating Jim from his family and enslaving him. From common logic, when the new judge gives the mandate to Pap as a biological father to execute his will on Finn; regardless of considering the boys rights, the leaders of the society happen to be breaching the fabrics and the pillars of free will and civilization. The same society gives the high ended individuals priority and authority over the low end individuals as portrayed by enslaving of Jim. Such indications are clear end points notifying the extent of civilization hypocrisy.

Taking note of the education system of the society in setting, we realize quite an astonishing difference to the nowadays education system in place. The education system of the protagonist is old structured. Huck's mother died when he was young, while his father was completely uneducated with many other characters in the novel referring to him as 'uncivilized.' Finn himself didn't go to school until a little later in life, when he was taken in by the Widow Douglas who is an elderly woman the town, and part of what Finn referrers to as 'civilized folk.' (Twain and Hearn 21). From the protagonists point of view as in the whole plot, school is not for the low ended individuals in the stratum but rather those who are in the capable end of the same. Finn has an affinity to learning basic math, reading and writing. As the main character, this portrays a lot especially in the development and idealizing of the society in question. This hints us that the society at that time had an education system divided in the basis of social class. Many other people may have learned even less. As therefore illustrated, the education system, and the characters views of education, is very different from our own today.

The Adventure of Huckleberry has a lot of symbolism used as a feature of literature. For instance, the river Mississippi is used in the plot to represent freedom. When the two characters Finn and Jim run away, they use a raft to say down the river. The narrator expresses how free they feel until they come across two other characters. The river therefore is becomes the most conspicuous feature used by author to employ symbolism ("The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Book Review | Plugged In").

Widow Douglas home is also a feature of symbolism. The author uses her and her house to symbolize change and civilization. It is at this place in the setting that the author introduces the protagonist in a cumbersome situation where he is persuaded to read, write and believe in a religion he doesnt admire (Leonard, Tenney and Davis 14).

Jim the character is also a symbolic feature. He represents all those who have faced the sharp edge of slavery in the south.

Finn, the protagonist represent those in the society with intra and inter conflicts. He is used to out bring the whole concept of conflict in an early society.

Another figure of literature used is the motifs. The recurring feature of childhood is used, as seen in the vigorous youth hood of Finn. His youthful nature becomes his most precious tool towards moral education, in the narrative. Since Huck and Tom are young, their age deepens the novels commentary on slavery and society. Ironically, Huck seems to be a little more informed than the adults around him. In a different way, the silliness, pure joy, and naivete of the characters childhood give Huckleberry Finn a sense of fun and humor (Cliffsnotes, 2007).

With the use of lies and cons, the plot put in play two characters; The Duke and The King who coax help from Finn and Jim in carrying out their conning practices. They sta...

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