Huck Finn: an American Masterpiece

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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." This use of the everyday language of the common folk adds a great deal of authenticity and believability to Huck's adventures. Each character has his or her own bit of a Southern twang. For example, the Dauphin has a traditional, simple accent when he announces to the Wilks family, "Friends all, my poor brother that lays yonder has done generous by them that's left behind in the vale of sorrers" (214). Nonetheless, the vernacular is most prominent when Jim speaks. For example, when he explains to Huck why Solomon wasn't wise, he says, "I doan' k'yer what de widder say, he warn't no wise man nuther. He had some er der dad-fetchedes' I ever see" (100). In fact, Twain's novel was far ahead of its times. Something new happened with Huck Finn that had never happened before in American literature. It's a book that deviated from the well-mannered English tradition of the times....
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