Huck's Adventures on Land Analytical Essay by scribbler

Huck's Adventures on Land
A look at some action episodes in Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
# 152010 | 1,838 words | 1 source | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Nov 11, 2012 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (Racism)

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This paper explores the action and plot development in Mark Twain's classic novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." The first episode that the papers examines is when Huck returns to town disguised as a girl. According to the paper, this is a metaphor for several themes, not just gender identity. Next, the paper discusses other episodes that take place on land, further noting the symbolism of land and the world of adults. Various characters from the novel are analyzed and their personal growth addressed. Finally, the paper uses Huck as a means to investigate truth and falsehood in the adult world. The paper concludes by further considering the metaphorical differences between life on the river and life on land for Mark Twain as seen through the eyes of Huck Finn.

From the Paper:

"Perhaps appropriately, this systematic inversion of bourgeois values begins with the burlesque "Sarah Williams" episode (chapters 10-11). At this point, Huck is bored after several tranquil days on Jackson's Island and "to get a stirring up" (Twain 65) returns to town disguised as a girl. Some critics have convincingly argued that this subversion of gender identity serves as a symbolic challenge to similarly inscribed assumptions about race, allowing Huck to gain insight into Jim's predicament; after all, the initial tranvestite impulse comes from Jim. However, it is also suggestive that in a novel that feminizes the forces of civilization, the episode resolves with Huck getting a lesson in how to impersonate a girl more effectively in town and, more broadly, how to compartmentalize the person he is on the river from the characters he portrays in town.
"Far from exemplifying the rigid nature of truth on which a "moral reformer" like Widow Douglas (distinguished for never "having lied one time or another," 5) insists, Judith Loftus, who shares her name with the Bible's most notable female spy, initiates Huck into the possibilities of society as masquerade. In his previous life, the conscious assumption of identity was the province of the "respectable" yet wholly untrustworthy..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ed. Mary R. Reichardt. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2009. Print.

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