“All modern American Literature comes from Huckleberry Finn.” ~Ernest Hemingway. Mark Twain is quite possibly the father of the American novel. The books he wrote were and still are popular among the rich and the poor alike. He introduced the ‘epic adventure’ style, (like the Iliad and the Odyssey) into American literature. Throughout his long and eventful life, Twain saw many flaws in his society and reflected upon them in his writing. His most popular and criticized novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, emulates these flaws. In the novel Twain criticizes the mind-set of the Gilded Age, shows the lack of compassion in the white society versus that shown in black society and ridicules human greediness.
On one of Huck’s adventures he meets the Grangerfords, the wealthiest family he has ever encountered. They let Huck live with them and teach him their ways. While touring their house, Huck makes honest remarks about their possessions. From the outside, their house is luxurious and remarkable which allows Huck to say he “hadn’t seen no house out in the country before that was so nice and has so much style”(99). It did not even have an iron latch on the front, but a brass knob to turn, the same as houses in town. Most of the decorations in the house look genuine on the outside but are actually fake on the inside, which demonstrates the attitude of the Gilded Age. For something to be gilded means to be covered in gold giving the appearance of being fully gold, yet only the outer layer is gold and the rest is not. After appreciating their clock, Huck notices fake parrots made of chalk and a cat and dog made out of crockery who “squeak” “when you [press] down of them” “but [don’t] open their mouths nor look different or interested” (100). He also sees fruit that are “much redder and yellower and prettier than the real ones” (100), but they are all fake and made of chalk as well. Huck’s simplicity in not understanding why the family keeps these fake possessions...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document