Read full document

Huck finn

  • By
  • Jan. 20, 2014
  • 1706 Words
  • 1 View
Page 1 of 5


Who Is Huckleberry Finn?

Who is Huckleberry Finn? At the beginning of Mark Twain’s novel, Huckleberry Finn, he seems to be a stereotypical child from the early 1800’s, living the carefree life of a young adolescent boy. But upon closer inspection, Huck is actually a character with complexities and major personal changes experienced throughout the novel. The “personal-journey” structure that is necessary for Huck’s transformation is a characteristic of the bildungsroman genre, which according to Suzanne Hader, author of The Bildungsroman Genre: Great Expectations, Aurora Leigh, and Waterland, is a story of a single individuals growth and development within the context of defined social order (Hader 1). The reality of Huck’s own social order is one of racism, abuse, and hypocrisy. With this foundation he grows up indifferent and uninterested towards the social systems within that society. But through the process of self-discovery (Hader 1), which is present in the bildungsroman genre, Huck grows to develop his own opinion on the ways of the world around him. Following the many characteristics of the bildungsroman genre, Mark Twain’s novel, Huckleberry Finn, displays a personal transformation in regards to Huck’s attitude towards societal codes-specifically those involving African-Americans- Jim, and his own personal code of morals.

The society of Huck’s time was a complicated web of codes and unwritten rules, especially when applied to African- Americans. It was acceptable to burn a dog, but unthinkable to respect a black man. As witnessed through Pap’s drunken exclamation, “Thinks I, what is the world a-comin to? (Twain 27)”, simply over a black man’s right to vote, one can see the type of atmosphere Huck is in. It was environment that not only encouraged prejudices and racism, but fully allowed slavery and the dehumanization of the African-American race. At the beginning of the novel, Huck often refers to Jim, Miss Watson’s slave, as...