Reprinted by permission of the author. Despite the fact that it is the most taught novel and most taught work of American literature in American schools from junior high to graduate school, Huckleberry Finn remains a hard book to read and a hard book to teach. The difficulty is caused by two distinct but related problems.
The country school and the quality of former popular literature II. The institution of church and Presbyterian double standards II. The controversial depiction of racism II. The individual versus society III. Both young and old are fascinated by the nostalgic portraits of American childhood, which are also blended with a good portion of social criticism.
His attitude towards societal concepts of education, religion and slavery will be examined, as will the conflict between individual and social morality, which is highlighted in the two novels. Therefore, I am going to begin with a brief outline of the entirely opposing trends in juvenile fiction in the first and the second half of the 19th century.
This is why the first American books were intended to teach morality, to shape characters by defining and encouraging model behaviour.
Topics like the American past or everyday life were more or less completely ignored, as were industrialisation and slavery, both important issues in the period. Only in the s did the growing urban poverty bring about a change in the level of homogeneity of juvenile fiction.
Authors began to portray the misery of the poor children living on the streets to rouse sympathy and a feeling of responsibility on the part of the American society.
By the end of the 19th century, the notion of childhood as a crucial period for moral training was replaced by a concept in which childhood was valuable in itself.
Innocence, beauty and moral purity were now presented as innate qualities of children. The sober didacticism conveyed in earlier fiction was superseded by the romantic view that the joyous and carefree nature of childhood was a desirable state of being. He became one of the first American authors to write about misbehaving children who were not corrected but even rewarded.
There are numerous examples in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Although Tom steals, lies, sneaks out of the house at night, shows interest in neither school nor church and does not obey his aunt, the novel ends with him and Huck being rich and the heroes of the village: Even Huck, who is in no way inferior to Tom with regard to social misconduct, is rewarded.
Social Criticism in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn International Journal on Studies in English Language and Literature (IJSELL) Page | 9. Teaching Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Shelley Fisher Fishkin: Dr. Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Professor of American Studies and English at the University of Texas, is the author of. Feb 22, · ‘Mark Twain’s America’ and ‘Huck Finn’s America’ In no book is this more apparent than in “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” where Twain mingles nostalgia for the putative.
Being the pariah boy of the community, Huck attends neither school nor church, steals, smokes, swears and idles away his time. His aversion to the conventional way of life urges him to run away from St Petersburg in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and at the end of the long journey his reluctance to adapt himself to society is still the same: The conclusion does not provide a character reform favourable to society, which would have been demanded in earlier literature instead.
He invites the readers to take pleasure in boys who are full of mischief in small matters and justifies it by revealing their kind-heartedness in serious matters.
The question arises as to whether the two adventure stories have any moral message at all. As the title suggests, this work is not going to take seriously the notice given at the beginning of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
Despite the undeniable danger of overanalysing, this notice is taken rather as a hint at the underlying criticism of social morality.
The following chapters are going to demonstrate that both texts abound with moral reflections and judgements — not in the old sense of giving children instruction as to how to behave, but by attacking social traditions and behaviour.
The country school and the quality of former popular literature Schooling is one of the central objects of criticism in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain writes fully about the daily school routine and the power struggle existing between the teacher and his group of pupils.
He claims to give a realistic picture of a typical country school, when he confronts the prevailing ideal of an obedient pupil, who likes to go to school and is anxious to learn, with a rebellious class of pupils, whose main interest is to play a trick on the hated, excessively strict master.
This one-sided function is symbolised by the reduction of the teacher to his exercising body parts or his disciplinary action: The consequence was that the smallest boys spent their days in terror and suffering and their nights in plotting revenge.
Correspondingly unmotivated and frustrated, he is unsparingly strict with his pupils, reads an anatomy book during the lessons and is often sleepy. On examination day, his last scene in the story, he is made the object of ridicule.
Apart from the teacher, the didactic child gets a setback. He is sneaky, it gives him great pleasure to tell on Tom, but he is too much of a coward to fight with Tom and runs away instead.The Struggle for Tolerance: Race and Censorship in Huckleberry Finn. Peaches Henry.
Satire and Evasion: Black Perspectives on Huckleberry Finn, In the long controversy that has been Huckleberry Finn's history, the novel has been criticized, censored, and banned for an array of perceived failings, including obscenity, atheism, bad grammar, coarse manners, low moral tone, and .
In the novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Huck goes through many adventures on the Mississippi River. He escapes from Pap and sails down the Mississippi with an escaped slave named Jim. Huck goes through the moral conflict of how wrong it is to be helping Jim escape to freedom.
Eventually Huck. Teaching Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay.
Dr - Teaching Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Essay introduction. Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Professor of American Studies and English at the University of Texas, is the author of Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture (Oxford University Press, ) and Was Huck Black?
Mark Twain and American Realism Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an example of a form of realism known as regionalism. American regionalism’s focus on “local color” builds on traditional realism’s interest in the accurate representation of the “real” world, using close sociological observation to .
The following entry provides criticism on Twain's novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (). Long considered Mark Twain's masterwork as well as a classic of American literature, The.
Online literary criticism and analysis for Mark Twain. Mark Twain Visual by regardbouddhiste.com Mark Twain () Literary Criticism: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Arac, Jonathan. "Putting the River on New Maps: Nation, Race, and beyond in Reading Huckleberry Finn.".