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Individual v Society

Uploaded by Brent Goodin on Feb 15, 2002

Forged in the fire of revolution and defined by manifest destiny, America has always been the land of the individual. Although the American dream has not always been coherent, (married with 2.5 kids, 2 cars, a dog and a satisfying job), the spirit of innovation, individuality and progress remains unchanged. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was born in era of racial turbulence and literary genius. Mark Twain, a famous American writer-satirist wrote many books highly acclaimed throughout the world. For his masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America has ever produced. Mark Twain definitely has a style of his own that depicts a realism in the novel that is reminiscent with society in antebellum America. Through various literary devices, he characterizes the protagonist, the intelligent and sympathetic Huckleberry Finn, by the direct candid manner of writing as though through the actual voice of Huck himself. Every word and every thought expressed by Huck is so precise it reflects even the racism and black stereotypes typical of the era. And this has lead to many conflicting battles by various readers since the first print of the novel. Some are outraged by the incessant use of the degrading and white supremacist word ‘nigger.’ Others feel this novel sets the basis for all modern literature, earning its place among the many great American classics. The controversy behind the novel has been and will always be racism. Twain surely does use the word ‘nigger’ often, both as a referral to the slave Jim and any African-American that Huck comes across and as the epitome of insult and inferiority. However, the reader must also not fail to recognize that this style of racism, this malicious treatment of African-Americans, this degrading attitude towards them is all stylized of the pre-Civil War tradition. Racism is only mentioned in the novel as an object of natural course and a precision to the actual views of the setting then. Huckleberry Finn still stands as a powerful portrayal of experience through the newfound eyes of an innocent boy. Huck only says and treats the African-American culture accordingly with the society that he was raised in. To say anything different would truly be out of place and setting of the era. This amalgamation of fiction with non-fiction invites the reader to take a realistic viewpoint of the novel....

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Uploaded by:   Brent Goodin

Date:   02/15/2002

Category:   The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

Length:   6 pages (1,424 words)

Views:   1914

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