Huckleberry Finn and Slavery - Research Paper Example

This essay discusses one of his most popular novels, Twain questions social norms and values as he tells the story of a young boy named Huckleberry Finn and an escaped slave named Jim. The plot flows naturally as a frame story as the two characters drift down the Mississippi River…
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Huckleberry Finn and Slavery
Download file to see previous pages To ‘mark twain’ is to sound the depths and deem them safe for passage, the term adopted by Clemens as his pen name in 1863” (Merriman, 2006). A humorist, a philosopher, a lecturer, an essayist and a writer of stories and poems, Twain infused his stories with a call to a higher understanding, urging his readers to plunge the depths of their understanding and adapt their behavior to a more accurate reflection of their inner beliefs (Railton, 2007). As a children’s writer, Twain is brilliant at providing short entertaining stories that engage children’s minds, encouraging them to think critically about the reading as well as their own understandings. He does this through a multi-layered approach that includes language choice, tone, character development and story structure that all serve to entertain at the same time that they instruct.
Through his work, Twain consistently questions the social norms of his time, such as the notion that Indians are inherently savage and evil or that black people are meant to be slaves. Unequal race relations was one of the principal themes in his writings as he constantly questions the true measure of a man and illustrates how the color of a man’s skin has little to do with his ability to do right or do wrong. Whether discussing the differences between people of color and whites or the relative merits of two distinct individuals of equal social distinction, “the thrust was difficult to miss: nurture, not nature, was the key to social status. The features of the black man that provided the stuff of prejudice – manner of speech for example – were, to Twain, indicative of nothing other than the conditioning that slavery imposed on its victims” (Carter, 2008). These sentiments had been present throughout his writing career, but with the stamp of success to validate his words, “Mark Twain began to lay bare truths about racial oppression with a particular vigor, using a new and democratic literary language that would forever change American prose” (Tita, 1998).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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