Huck Finn as the Narrator in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain Pages: 3 (756 words) Published: January 1, 1996
Mark Twain chose Huck Finn to be the narrator to make the story more realistic and so that Mark Twain could get the reader to examine their own attitudes and beliefs by comparing themselves to Huck, a simple uneducated character.

Twain was limited in expressing his thoughts by the fact that Huck Finn is a living, breathing person who is telling the story. Since the book is written in first person, Twain had to put himself in the place of a thirteen-year-old son of the town drunkard. He had to see life as Huck did and had to create a character that could see life as Mark Twain saw it. Huck is more than Twain's mouthpiece because he is a living character and is capable of shaping the story. The language that Huck uses shows what he sees and how he will pass it on to us. Something else that is apparent is that the humor of the book often depends on Huck's language. In chapter fourteen, Huck is telling Jim about royalty in general which is an example of humor through language and incomplete education although sometimes he is not that far from the truth.

'They [royalty] don't do nothing! Why, how you talk! They just set around.'

'No; is dat so?'

'Of course it is. They just set around--except, maybe, when there's a war; then they go to war. But other times they just lazy around; or go hawking--just hawking...when things is dull, they fuss with the parlyment; and if everybody don't go just so he whacks their heads off. But mostly they hang round the harem.'

However, by using Huck's language Twain creates character and establishes realism. Huck is capable of making Twain write something merely because it is not the kind of thing Huck would say or do, and he can force Twain to leave something out because Huck would not do or say that kind of thing.

Huck is essentially good-hearted, but he is looked down upon by the rest of the village. He dislikes civilized ways because they are too restrictive and hard. He is generally ignorant of reading and writing,...
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