Presentation on theme: "Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn. “His writing also served to voice his running commentary on American society. Thinly veiled behind the mask of humor."— Presentation transcript:
“His writing also served to voice his running commentary on American society. Thinly veiled behind the mask of humor and satire, Clemens' writing often critiqued social morals, politics and human nature, making his literature a unique reflection of the American experience in the latter part of the nineteenth century.” http://www.marktwainhouse.org/theman/index.shtml
Twain’s Attitude Toward Slavery http://classiclit.about.com/od/marktwainfaqs/f/faq_mtwain_slav.htm “His father was a judge, but he also traded in slaves at times. His uncle, John Quarles, owned 20 slaves; so Mark Twain witnessed the practice of slavery first- hand whenever he spent summers at his uncle's place.” “When he was still a young boy, Mark Twain witnessed the brutal murder of a slave in his home town of Hannibal by the slave's owner, who killed the man with a thrown rock for ‘merely doing something awkward.’"
“It shows that that strange thing, the conscience--the unerring monitor--can be trained to approve any wild thing you want it to approve, if you begin its education early and stick to it.“ Twain http://classiclit.about.com/od/huckleberryfinnfaqs/f/faq_huck_slave.htm
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1884 Mark Twain
sat ⋅ ire dictionary.com /ˈsætaɪ ə r/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [sat-ahy uh r] Show IPA –noun 1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. 2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule. 3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.
Subjects of Satire in Huck Finn Civilized Society of the 19 th Century Slavery/Racism Romanticism Christianity
Twain’s Portrayal of Slavery in Huck Finn http://classiclit.about.com/od/huckleberryfinnfaqs/f/faq_huck_slave.htm “Mark Twain portrays Jim as a deeply caring and loyal friend. Jim becomes a father figure to Huck, opening the boy's eyes to the human face of slavery.” “Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Huckleberry Finn knew, as did Mark Twain, that Jim was not only a slave but a human being [and] a symbol of humanity... and in freeing Jim, Huck makes a bid to free himself of the conventionalized evil taken for civilization by the town.’”
Romanticism http://www.fellowshipofreason.com/archives/4heroes.htm Literary period between 1798 and 1832 (extended period 1770 – 1870) Some Characteristics of a Romantic Hero – Birth and class unimportant – Eccentric moral codes – Loyalty to a particular project and to a community of like-minded others Sometimes dark, brooding, isolated, moody,introspective
Many scholars believe the Romantic Period ended with the death of Sir Walter Scott, “who deftly blended European history (held to be a fit subject of study for mature, masculine minds) and entertaining picaresque narrative.” http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/scott/pva170.html
Some Important Characters Tom Sawyer – represents the Romantic Hero Pap – Huck’s father; low-class, uneducated, cruel Miss Watson – represents religious hypocrisy Widow Douglas – Huck’s guardian Jim – slave Huck tries to save from slave catchers The King and the Duke – con-artists; represent cruelty
The Grangerford Family – “old money”; plantation owners; feuding with Sheperdsons The Sheperdson Family The feud between the Grangerfords and Sheperdsons mimics the infamous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys
The Phelps – Tom’s aunt and uncle; they end up with ownership of Jim Dr. Robinson – recognizes the King and Duke as frauds The Wilks – represent goodness; conned by the King and Duke