The Individual versus Society in Literature Comparison Essay

The Individual versus Society in Literature
An analysis of the themes of individuality versus society in the two literary works: "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain and "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison.
# 107262 | 1,564 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Aug 31, 2008 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison)

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This paper discusses two literary works that specifically exhibit the theme of the individual versus society. It analyzes Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man." Specifically, the paper discusses the plot and the characters of the two works and compares their portrayal of the political issue of individuality and also the ever-present relationship between art and politics.

From the Paper:

"Both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Invisible Man demonstrate vibrant and interesting tensions between the individual and society. The main characters in both these books choose to disregard societal norms and embrace individual ideals, and are contrasted to lesser characters that choose not to do so--illustrating the principle that what is popular may not be right and what is right is not always popular. The theoretical ideas from Thoreau's Civil Disobedience and Mill's On Liberty are clearly seen throughout these novels. All four works bring to life the ideas of these thinkers and how they viewed the individual in comparison with society. The author artistic visions demonstrate how the political issue of individuality and show the ever-present relationship between art and politics."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ellison, Ralph. The Invisible Man. New York: Random House, 1980.
  • Mills, John Stewart. "On Liberty." Constitution Society. Sept. 1993. 5 Sept. 2007 <>.
  • Thoreau, Henry David. "Civil Disobedience." The Thoreau Reader. The Thoreau Society. 5 Sept. 2007 <>.
  • Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 1884. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1896. 5 Sept. 2007 <>.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

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