"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
This paper examines and critiques the reviews of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884) at the time of publication and today.
# 53066 | 2,835 words | 16 sources | APA | 2004 |
Published on Sep 30, 2004 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , African-American Studies (Racism)
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This paper explains that "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" became even more famous than Twain's earlier novel, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876), and enshrined him as one of America's preeminent writers; but, at the same time, it was the object of huge controversy because of its treatment of the slavery issue and his expression of rage over the injustices of his time. The author points out that the "Illustrated London News" (February 14, 1891), in its article, "The Art of Mark Twain" (Lang 1891), found in the novel everything that a reader wanted. It had the vividness and originality of life, the natural display of character in action, and all the excitement of adventure, plausible or not. The paper relates that present-day readers and critics see "Huckleberry Finn" not only as a historical novel and document, which explores the racial and moral world of his time by presenting controversies surrounding that world, but also as a living record of the very same issues and dissensions, which continue to the present.
From the Paper:"The San Francisco Daily Examiner (March 9, 1885) described the novel as "being without a motive, a moral, or a plot. The only reason to be, as the French say, is probably that the author thought he could make some money by publishing a book of some kind, and here it is--such as it is". The newspaper saw the work as a "pot-boiler in its baldest form" in giving an account of life in the Southwest. While it credited the novel for its impressive passages and occasional touches of "grotesque pathos", which grabbed the interest of readers of the time, the newspaper found that it did not differ very much from Twain's other Pacific Coast sketches. It indicted the work as utterly lacking in truth and for being unlike anything in the earth, noting how Twain earlier worked as reporter on the Territorial Enterprise newspaper of Virginia City in Nevada, where he was quite noted for factual-ness."
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