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Critical Lens Essay Of "Dune" By Frank Herbert And "Huckleberry Finn" By Mark Twain, Using The Quote "We Do Not Read Literature For Improvement Or Instruction" By Oliver Wendell Holmes

808 words - 4 pages

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "we do not read literature for improvement or instruction." However, there are many reasons to disagree with Holmes' conjecture; there is a great deal of literature that provides philosophical insight along with entertainment. The wisdom and education provided by books such as Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" and Frank Herbert's "Dune" strongly contradicts Holmes' view."Huckleberry Finn" was a novel written two decades after slavery was abolished in the United States, yet it was set back in the time when slavery was abundant in the South. It has many instances of what could be perceived as racism, but the book is mostly against racism, mostly in its portrayal ...view middle of the document...

At the beginning of the novel, Huck contemplates and even resolves to turn Jim into slavers, thinking that taking someone's property is immoral. However, Huck's attitude progressively changes throughout the novel; in Chapter 31 Huck says he would rather "go to hell" than turn Jim in. Jim's longing for his family and the story about his dead daughter shows his humane side and shows that black men are no different from white men, thus they should not be treated differently.The novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert centers on a man named Paul Atreides and his struggle to gain back a planet that was given to him and brutally taken away by his longtime rivals. While the novel is one of science fiction's best because of its plotline, the philosophical points made in the novel make it truly great. The novel uses religion as a driving force in politics at a time when religion was believed to be dying down. Another important revolutionary idea was the human control over ecology. The planet Dune was a desert wasteland, valuable only for its single resource: melange. Melange, a clear comparison to petroleum, was a resource...

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