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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Critique

Oct 08, 1999 383 Words
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Critique


Mark Twain, the pseudonym of Samuel Clemens, was, as a literary writer, a genius. His use of numerous literary devices throughout the novel are quite unique. Examples of them would be, irony;
"Here was a nigger, which I had as good as helped to run away, coming
right out and saying that he would steal his children - children that belonged to someone that had done me no harm." p. 88; and colloquial enunciation;
I ast 'm if dey 'uz gwyne to grab a young white genlman's propaty,
en git a hidin for it?" p. 112
Samuel Clemens was a very controversial writer in his time. Although he was fiercely criticized, he was among the first writers to incorporate views other than that of a reverential main character into his stories, and he was also a primary user of colloquial enunciation.

Plot Synopsis

The plot is, as the title suggests, about the adventures of an unruly and carefree boy named Huckleberry Finn. The novel depicts the 1900's southern social climate in a manner that is not only satirical, but psychoanalytically intuitive. In it, Huck, as he is commonly known, runs away with a slave named Jim. As they travel along the Mississippi river, in the southern region of the United States, they undergo many extraordinary adventures.


One of the most predominant themes in this novel is that of deception. Deception, in one form or another, is used with an avid consistency throughout the story. Two personifications of deception were the characters, King and Duke. They were "entrepreneurs" of deception (which is a polite way of saying hustlers). Samuel Clemens writes about them so ingeniously, that after a while the reader is able to understand the true nature of these tricksters, and that most of what they utter is either fabrication or a twisted truth. "I'd been selling an article to take tartar of the teeth-and it does take it off,

too, and generally the enamel along with it." p. 121
Samuel Clemens is contradictory in the way in which he utilizes deception. He makes Huckleberry Finn deceive everybody into thinking that Huck was killed in a fire. This is an example in which deception is brought out as a good thing.

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