AP English Language
20 July 2014
1 In the novel the "Adventures of the Huckleberry Finn", the main speaker is a boy named Huckleberry Finn. Huck is a orphaned poor boy, around the age of 12 or 13, that lives along the Mississippi around the time 1845. Huck is a slightly educated and can read a little, but has lots of common sense and a quick wit. He is the son of an abusive drunk, pap's, and in the begging of the book is adopted by Miss Watson who tries to civilize him, and fails. Huck ends up running away and helping a slave Jim escape which is the main point of this novel. Huck is used by Twain as a main character, he uses Huck's innocence and empathy to his advantage. Twain shows us through Huck the injustices of slavery of the 18 hundreds and also as a comedic relief from time to time. 2. The occasion of this book was during the 1845 along the Mississippi River. This novel takes place after Mark Twain's previous novel "Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in this novel though Twain tells the story of an orphan boy Huckleberry Finn, who was briefly mentioned in the prior book. Huck finds a runaway slave Jim after escaping from his abusive father and they both pair up and travel down the Mississippi in search for freedom. During their journey they travel through Missouri Illinois, and Arkansas. The Mississippi river played a role in helping Huck and Jim escape as well as a place for though, and the time period made it dangerous for escaped slaves such as Jim. 3. The intended audience for "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is for citizens who accept or are ok with slavery, showing them how immoral the action of slavery is, and hopefully giving them a sense of anti racism. The second audience would be anti racists or people who like comedy, and adventure novels. The age target is very broad since the text used is not that difficult to read and comprehend, many children middle school are required to read this novel. The values of the novel are appealing to anti racists due to its extreme antislavery plot and showing the wrongdoing of southerners through acts of dramatic irony. 4. The purpose of this novel is to educated us on the morals of the time period. Mark twain shows us what the white majority at the time thought of the African race and why they were wrong in both their thoughts and actions. Twain attacked the thought of slavery by using huck to show us the wrongdoing of the southerners at the time, and shocked us by showing the extent of this horrible thought by showing us families getting ripped apart and various other occasions of social wrongdoings. 5.The subject of Huckleberry Finn is Huck finding the social injustices of slavery. As they head down the river we are able to see the corruption of the civilization around them through the eyes of a child. When they run into conflicts they all show acts of racism, it often challenges Huck's thoughts about morality and justice, which change the further they venture down the river. Twain shows us how the average southerner of the time period though of black's as a mere tool. This novel shows us human devilment through the book making Huck more understanding of the African race as Jim and Huck seek freedom in a socially corrupt era. 6 Throughout huckleberry Finn Mark Twain uses local dialect and slang, and uses very poor grammar, "maybee i am maybee i ain't", (40). Twain makes a point though of writing poorly when depicting Africans "I come heah de night arter you's killed" (67). The term "nigger" is brought up continually in this novel showing the disrespect for the race and was used as a day to day word. The word "white" is questioned about what it really applies to, and if it means that black men can't be similar. Irony plays a major role in the book most of the irony has to deal with Huck helping Jim escape, such as how Huck thinks he's helping Jim whereas in reality Jim helps Huck more, it is also used for comedic relief by Twain. Good example in where Huck has buck spell his name and Huck memorizes it even though it is spelt wrong: "'I bet you can't spell my name,' says I. 'I bet you what you dare I can', says he.
'All right,' says I, 'go ahead.'
'G-e-o-r-g-e J-a-x-o-n-there now,' he says.
'Well,' says I, 'you done it, but I didn't think you could. It ain't no slouch of a name to spell-right off without studying.' I set down, private, because somebody might want me to spell it next, and so I wanted to be handy with it and rattle it off like I was used to it." (133). Metaphors are used sometimes by Huck to describe people, "He was sunshine most always--I mean he made it seem like good weather" (144). Hyperboles like irony play a role of humor in this novel too, for example when Huck explains Solomon's wives to Jim and completely messes up the number "Solomon had one; he had about a million wives." (110).
7. Mark twain uses imagery throughout the novel to instill a peace river to a brewing storm, when he uses it makes the reader feel preset and experience the emotions that the main character, Huck Finn, is experiencing. "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn't ever feel like talking loud, and it warn't often that we laughed — only a little kind of a low chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all — that night, nor the next, nor the next" this creates a calming mood for the reader, it instills a peaceful experience and we can vividly see a large and slow river with stars hanging over, and we can almost hear a slight laugh.. Twain uses tropes time and time again in the novel to discuss the recurring theme of slavery and convincing us why it was a injustice. Throughout the book mark twain gives us many examples of figurative language, alot of the time he uses personification to exaggerate the mood usually alongside with imagery, " I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me, and I couldn’t make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me." (2). We see here that he creates more a scary mood by giving the animals, and the wind humanist features. Mark twain is also keen on using Huck's 5 senses to his advantage creating an image where we see feel hear and smell what he does, "sometimes you could hear a sweep squeaking...and the sounds come from far" this tells us that Huck and Jim are peacefully far away from other people . He uses Huck's vision to describe a river full of color and fog, "you could see a streak on the water...and you see the mist curl of the top of the water" (158). 8. Mark Twain is very balanced with his sentence structures, "he went to sleep, and Jim didn't call me when it was my turn. He often done that. When I waked up just at daybreak he was sitting there with his head down betwixt his knees, moaning and mourning to himself. I didn't take notice nor let on. I knowed what it was about. He was thinking about his wife and his children, away up yonder, and he was low and homesick; because he hadn't ever been away from home before in his life; and I do believe he cared just as much for his people as white folks does for their'n. It don't seem natural, but I reckon it's so."(201) Twain introduction is short and brief sentences, the sentences where Jim begins to morn is where Twain writes longer sentences to describe what Jim is feeling. Twain arranges it by using a loose/periodic sentence to describe jims feeling about his family. Twain uses this syntax throughout the book short brief sentences followed by longer run-ons, it is a good balance for this novel. Mark Twain also is fond of using parallel sentences, "And nobody that didn't belong to the band could use that mark, and if he did he must be sued; and if he done it again he must be killed. " (26) this parallel structure ifs from Tom's oath we see here that all that is listed is of equal importance to the gang. In Emmeline's poem twain creates repetition in the first stanza, "And did young Stephen sicken, And did young Stephen die?
And did the sad hearts thicken,
And did the mourners cry?" (139). By referring to death over and over Twain created a repetition in Emmeline's poem. 9. Pathos are used in chapter 41 when he describes aunt Polly grieving for Sid, "And twice I went down the rod away in the night, and slipped around front, and see her setting there by her candle in the window with her eyes towards the road and the tears in them; and I wished I could do something for her, but I couldn't, only to swear that I wouldn't never do nothing to grieve her any more."(354). By using pathos Twain makes us feel sorry for Aunt Polly. Twain uses ethos in the last chapter when the men want to hang Jim, "some of them wanted to hang jim, for an example to all the other niggers around there" (356).We see here that white men wan to prove themselves superior, and above the other slaves, showing that they are qualified to own and discipline them. Twain uses logos in chapter 22 when he describes that lynching is an amusing idea through Mr. Sherburn, "The idea of YOU lynching anybody! It's amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a MAN! Because you're brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a MAN? Why, a MAN'S safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind -- as long as it's daytime and you're not behind him" (146). Mark twain argues that slavery is wrong because it treating humans like animas, throughout the book Twain twists are emotions by giving us examples of what live was like for the average African during the pre civil war time period. 10. The tone of this novel is ironic since Huck never intends to make jokes yet come of hilarious, and since he doesn't realize that he's questioning the standards set by other southerners. There is also lots of occurrences that happen down the river that would categorize this novel as an action as well. Mark Twain has truly brought together a classic book, by bringing in local dialect and a well balanced sentences he makes it easy and fun to read. he uses figurative speech such as metaphors, irony, and hyperboles, to create a humorous tone to mask the dark theme of slavery. Overall the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" has to be one of my most favored books due to the comedy and the thoughts behind the text, it was an enlightening and fun experience to read.