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Mark Twain And Huckleberry Finn Essay

1596 words - 7 pages

In 1884, Mark Twain wrote one of the most controversial and remembered novels in the world of literature, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain was the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was born in Florida, Missouri, Nov. 30, 1835. Twain was one of six children. This contributed to his family being poor. Twain often had to find inexpensive forms of entertainment. Twain made Huckleberry Finn represent him fictionally in this book. Huck did the same typical boy things as Twain. ^Now, we'll start this band of robbers and call it..." was one of the things Huck said (Twain 9). When Twain was four years old, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a small town on the ...view middle of the document...

"The men took their guns [to church] ... and kept them between their knees...^ (Twain 142) was just one example. In the time of Twain's life that he wrote this novel, the Civil War had just ended. The war had tested society's morals. The issue of slavery was important to Twain which was the reason morals were portrayed in this way. The freedom and peacefulness of the river soon gave way to the deceit, greed and prejudice in the towns on the bank of the river. Huck stated, ^ It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars^^ (Twain 86) and ^We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all-that night, nor the next^^ (Twain 86). One day, Huck and Jim were separated while on shore. Huck was told by another runaway slave, ^those old fools made a trade and got forty dollars^^ (Twain 274). This quote showed the greed and prejudice of Southerns. They actually sold slaves for money. It was as if people were not regarded as humans unless they were white. Many of the towns Twain described were based on his hometown and nearby towns along the Mississippi shores. "I rose up, and there was Jackson's Island..." (Twain 47) and "...why mama, struck out for this town of Goshen..." (Twain 80)were a just few quotes from the novel, which were based on real places. Jackson^s Island was located just a few miles down the Mississippi River from Twain^s childhood home, Hannibal. Goshen was also a town located a few miles down the river from Twain^s home. These two runaways, a beaten boy and a slave built a place to escape to on their raft. Eventually though, the values of the people on shore found their way into Huck's and Jim's thoughts. This became a major theme in the novel. During the Civil War, many people were divided on the issue of slavery. Even when they tried to ignore the problem, it crept its way into their minds. While traveling down the Mississippi River on the raft, Jim, the "runaway nigger", was free (Twain 76). Although Twain used the word "nigger" approximately two hundred and thirteen times in his novel, the message he was sending was anything but racist. Twain wrote, "Miss Watson's big nigger..." (Twain 6). He also wrote "... hardly notice the other niggers... (Twain 8)" and "Niggers is always talking about..." (Twain 8). Around the time this novel was written, "nigger" was thought to be the appropriate word to use when referring to an African American. Everyone in town thought Huck had been murdered and thrown into the Mississippi River. In reality though, he was alive on the raft. Huck and Jim lived a life that was as Huck stated "'s lovely to live on a raft" (Twain 72). Later, when the Duke and Dauphin joined them on their raft, and they all became friends; Huck was relieved and thought everyone should "...feel right and kind toward the others..." (Twain 161) while they lived on the raft. As long as they ...

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