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Copy of Huck Finn Intro Notes
Transcript of Copy of Huck Finn Intro Notes
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain's birth name was Samuel Clemens
Plot and Structure
His pen name was inspired by a riverboat term "Mark twain,"signaling the depth and the point where a riverboat
could drift on its own current
This was a follow-up to the previously published Tom Sawyer.
The character of Huck Finn, just like Tom Sawyer, was developed based on a childhood friend of the author.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in January of 1885.
In 1885 this novel was submitted to the challenged list. It remains one of the most frequently challenged books today.
It originally appeared on the list due to abolitionist tones; however, today it is found there due to its use of the "N-word."
The word appears in the novel approximately 213 times but is not meant to be derogatory. It reflects the technique of realism.
WARNING! This is a controversial novel!
"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. It's the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing good since." -Ernest Hemingway
Despite challenges to the work, it remains an American Classic!
1. Huck living in civilization in Missouri
2. Huck and Jim in the wilderness
3. Huck's return to civilization at the Phelpses' farm.
The plot is a series of episodes rather than one continuous
story. It's a coming of age novel. **Bildungsroman
Born November 30, 1835
in Florida, Missouri. He died
April 1, 1910 at age 75.
REALISM: Broadly defined as "the faithful representation of reality" or "verisimilitude," realism is a literary technique practiced by many schools of writing. Although strictly speaking, realism is a technique, it also denotes a particular kind of subject matter, especially the representation of middle-class life. A reaction against romanticism, an interest in scientific method, the systematizing of the study of documentary history, and the influence of rational philosophy all affected the rise of realism. According to William Harmon and Hugh Holman, "Where romanticists transcend the immediate to find the ideal, and naturalists plumb the actual or superficial to find the scientific laws that control its actions, realists center their attention to a remarkable degree on the immediate, the here and now, the specific action, and the verifiable consequence" (A Handbook to Literature 428).
Characteristics of Realism
(from Richard Chase, The American Novel and Its Tradition)
Renders reality closely and in comprehensive detail. Selective presentation of reality with an emphasis on verisimilitude, even at the expense of a well-made plot.
Character is more important than action and plot; complex ethical choices are often the subject.
Characters appear in their real complexity of temperament and motive; they are in explicable relation to nature, to each other, to their social class, to their own past.
Events will usually be plausible. Realistic novels avoid the sensational, dramatic elements of romances.
Diction is natural vernacular, not heightened or poetic; tone may be comic, satiric, or matter-of-fact.
Point of View
First Person Protagonist Advantages:
the reader experiences a full range of emotions of the viewpoint of the narrator
the author is free to use forms of language other than Standard American English (slang, unconventional spellings, and dialect)
subjectivity is prevalent
First Person Disadvantages:
the reader is given details only as the narrator remembers or experiences them, thus the recounting of events may not be accurate.
Suspense is compromised because it is fairly certain the narrator is still alove at the end of the story.