Views of American Culture in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written in 1885, is a literary satire written by Mark Twain. The setting of the novel takes place prior to the Civil War along the Mississippi River. This novel presents moral and ethical problems that southern culture placed on individuals during the time period it was written. Twain wrote his Realist period novel to criticize what he believed was wrong with the society of his time. Twain presented his novel through the eyes and speech of the twelve year-old Huckleberry Finn to show his criticism towards this society. Although the novel has been criticized since its publication, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is still considered one of the greatest American novels ever written. Twain uses Huck…show more content…
As Bradley states:
We see everything through his eyes – and they are his eyes and not a pair of Mark Twain’s spectacles. And the comments on what he sees are his comments – the comments of an ignorant, superstitious, sharp, healthy boy, brought up as Huck Finn had been brought up; they are not speeches put into his mouth by the author (292).
“The story is told from Huck’s point of view, and his narrative voice is a remarkable mixture of bad grammar, slang, homespun wisdom, and lyrical attentiveness to nature” (Bloom 22). In the novel, Twain uses southern dialect to reflect the time period and location in which it was written (James).
Twain utilizes the novel to poke fun at the society and social class of his time. “The object behind the fun was to expose pretentious, phony, and stupid people, and to bring down the mighty, whether it be con men or rich men, exalted authors of great reputation or the royalty they adored” (Johnson 225). He descriptively portrays a representation of each class within the social hierarchy during the era in which the novel was written (Weiner 73). Jim symbolizes the slaves, while Huck and his father represent the lower class. Mrs. Watson, Tom Sawyer, and Tom’s aunt represent the middle class. The Shepherdsons and the Grangerfords characterize the wealthy, upper class. Throughout the novel, society rejects Huck because of his economic status and upbringing. Huck was the son of the
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