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The Historical and Cultural Context of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

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Presentation on theme: "The Historical and Cultural Context of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Historical and Cultural Context of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

2 Historical Context of Huckleberry Finn Set in pre-Civil War years years before 1885 publication Slavery ended, but racism still rampant (Jim Crow Laws)

3 Mark Twain underwent moral transformation… He believed slavery was wrong and white Americans owed black Americans reparations

4 19 th CENTURY The Civil War Industrial Revolution Extreme contrasts between rich and poor

5 Literary and Artistic Movements: REALISM and REGIONALISM 1. Attack upon Romantics and Transcendentalists pragmatic, democratic, and experimental Responsibly moral – goal was to report the world with HONESTY

6 2.Drew subject matter from our experience Focused on the common, the average, the probable

7 3. Character and Setting more important than Plot (Local Color Movement) Focused on the norm of daily experience Dialect, geography, regional manners

8 HUCKLEBERRY FINN is a… COMING-OF-AGE NOVEL: moral growth of a comic character in an physically beautiful yet morally repugnant setting

9 and a… PICARESQUE NOVEL: follows the adventures of a roguish hero episodic: Mississippi River flight to freedom vs. river flowing toward Deep South (slave territory)

10 19 th century Americans are self-conscious… They want to know what their new country looks like, and how the varied races of growing population live and talk

11 19 th century Firsts… First mappings of the West First transcontinental railroad First Photography

12 Photography as a social mirror… The invention ignited an artistic and scientific frenzy… Best portrait makers could bring out the very human essence of a subject… The advantages of photography: immediacy, reliable representation, low cost, etc…

13 Massive social changes reflected in literature & photography Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner: honest photographic record of the Civil War. Photography, like literary Realism & Regionalism showed TRUTH.

14 Something new happened in Huck Finn that had never happened in American literature before. It was a book…that served as a Declaration of Independence from the genteel English novel…

15 …[It] allowed a different kind of writing to happen: a clean, crisp, no-nonsense, earthly vernacular…it was a book that talked. Hucks voice, combined with Twains satiric genius, changed the shape of fiction in America, and African-American voices had a great deal to do with making it what it was. - Dr. Shelley Fishkin, 1995

16 Photograph Huckleberry Finn Comparing VIEWPOINTS OF SLAVERY in…

17 "Slave Boy Brought to Waterbury from Bucks Hill by Aunt Ella Johnson's Second Husband (Whelan)" Ninth-plate ambrotype, circa otographymus eum.com/slave boylg.html The American Photography Museum, Inc. #1

18 "Our Little Pedlars" Quarter-plate ambrotype, circa ographymuseum.com/pedlarslg.h tml The American Photography Museum, Inc. #2

19 W. Queen (Philadelphia), Publisher or Retailer: "The Darkey's Vanity" Tinted Albumen Stereograph circa museum.com/vanitylg.ht ml The American Photography Museum, Inc. #3

20 Cumberland Landing, Virginia, Group of "contrabands" at Foller's house, May 14, The American Photography Museum, Inc. #4

21 Unidentified Photographer: Civil War Soldiers with a "Contraband" Albumen carte de visite, circa /contrabl.html The American Photography Museum, Inc. #5

22 E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. (New York), Publishers: "Bombproof Quarters of Maj. Strong, at Dutch Gap, 16th N. Y. Artillery" Albumen Stereograph circa museum.com/majstrong. html The American Photography Museum, Inc. #6

23 Unidentified Photographer: Ten Children Cyanotype, circa The American Photography Museum, Inc. #7

24 Palmer (Tuskegee, Alabama) Instructor & Three Graduates with Diplomas and Geraniums Gelatine-Silver Print, circa The American Photography Museum, Inc. #8

25 Works Cited The American Photography Museum, Inc. Virtual Exhibit: The Face of Slavery and Other Early Images of African Americans. (2004). Cross, J.M.. Nineteenth-Century Photography: A Timeline. The Victorian Web. (2001). Reuben, Paul P. Chapter 5: Late Nineteenth Century: American Realism - A Brief Introduction. PAL: Perspectives in American Literature: A Research and Reference Guide - An Ongoing Project.(2003). Rubio, Juan Carlos. (Curator). Portraits and Landscapes in Nineteenth Century Photography. Private Collections of Madrid. Fundacion Telefonico. (2001).


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