Huck Finn: an American Masterpiece Essay

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For more than two centuries, American authors have consistently produced outstanding works that have achieved national acclaim and international recognition. Many of these works have achieved have come to be celebrated as masterpieces in American literature and influential in the shaping of our nation. Since its publication in 1884, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has risen to such a status and has been added to the curriculum of most schools. Unlike any other novel of its time, Mark Twain wrote an organic, realistic story drawn from his own personal struggles with being “sivilized” into the proper manners of society. He employed several literary techniques and methods to insure that his novel would be considered a classic. Three significant aspects of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn include the use of the vernacular, the use of satire, and the depiction of pastoral life in the South. One significant aspect of Huck Finn is the use of the vernacular. One can’t open the novel without noticing distinctly Southern terms like “bullyragged” and “corn-dodgers.

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Twain satirizes religion again when he describes the Shepherdsons and Grangerfords listening to a sermon about brotherly love at church with guns in between their knees. He also satirizes the Victorian culture of the time period. When Huck arrives at the Grangerford mansion, he is in awe at the intricate and ornate artwork in the parlor. there was beautiful curtains on the windows; white with pictures painted on them of castles with vines all down the walls, and cattle coming down to drink” (Twain 134). Twain uses Huck to show his own views of the period. Scenes like the one describing the clock on the mantelpiece clearly get the message across that the Grangerfords’ furniture and decorations are both tacky and absurd. Indeed, Twain has much to say about society and uses his characters to get his point across. The last noteworthy aspect of Huck Finn is its depiction of pastoral Southern life. Twain mentions several instances where Huck and Jim are free from the social constraints and problems of “sivilized” society, describing vivid scenes that call to mind watching the sunset across a pond as the crickets chirp among the cattails.

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There has been nothing as good since” (348). Works Cited Hemingway, Ernest. “All modern American. ” The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations. Joseph R. Strayer. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Pocket, 1994. .

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