Novel Review: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Is adventures of Huckleberry Finn book more focused on the humor, or violence? All authors create their book with purpose. Considering that Huck Finn lived in such a crucial time, the amount of knowledge that future readers could derive, makes it nonsensical to say the book is comedy. Rather, Mark Twain is trying to prove the violent lives of individuals back in Huck’s day and the way Jim’s life transpired the same way it did for many blacks in his day. Portraying violence in lives of other Americans purposes Mark to writing this book. Not comedy.
Acts of violence include, the Grangerfords fight with the Shepardsons, the robbers’ plans for Jim Turner, and one town’s revenge against the king and duke. Also, Jim’s escape, is an example of violence in Twain’s novel. By the gragerfords feud Jim explains Not only was there violence in the book, but even greed can be found. It all happens when Huck sells his six thousand one hundred fifty dollars to the Judge for one dollar to make sure his father will never own it. This does not take away from Pap’s want to get back the money. When he visits Judge Thatcher and find out that the money is out of his control. These actions of greediness turned into actions of violence when Pap kidnaps Huck and brings him to a cabin in the woods. Then Huck planned to escape. For days Huck sawed a hole in the cabin wall. When pap left one morning, Huck finished the hole, escaped, and splashed pigs blood on the inside of the cabin walls to make pap think he was killed.
In chapter eleven, Huck meets a shipwreck and eavesdrops the two robbers’ plans to kill Jim Turner, for telling on them. Huck hears Jim Turner say, “OH, please don’t Bill-I hain’t ever goin’ to tell”. When Huck hears this, he gets really mad and takes the robbers’ boat. Huck’s second act of violence was during his meeting with the Sheperdsons and the Grangerfords. While staying with the Granferfords, Huck sees Buck, a young Grangerford, dive into a bunch of bushes and shoot at Harney Shepardson. Buck tells Huck who is confused that “a feud is this way. A man has a fight with another man, and kills his brother then that other man’s brother kills him; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another, then the cousins chip in-and by-and-by everybody’s killed off, and there ain’t no more feud”. When Huck realizes how bad the fight is, he leaves in disgust.
The novel makes more sense to be violent, because it better serves Twain’s purpose. With that said, it can also be humoristic in many ways. Twain uses humor to show two-facedness. An example of the Widow acting humorously two-faced is when she stops Huck from smoking in Chapter 1. Huck asked her beforehand if he could smoke and she “said it was a mean practice and wasn’t clean.” But Huck caught the Widow herself smoking. “And she took snuff too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself”. Humor was also used in a racial sarcastic way. An example of racial sarcastic humor is where Huck’s “Aunt Sally,” Mrs. Phelps, mistakes Huck for her relative Tom Sawyer. Huck tells her a story about a steamboat accident and says the explosion was so dangerous a black man died. Mrs. Phelps’s responded with “lucky, that no one got hurt”. In this example, Twain is focusing on the racist feelings many Americans had. Another example of humor used to prove a point was in Chapter 14 when Huck and Jim are arguing about the French language. Jim cannot understand the need for different languages, and Huck can’t prove him otherwise.
In the end, Huck gives up on Jim. Huck cares so much about Jim but he stops his fight because he thinks Jim doesn’t know what he is saying. The Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons were also shown to be two faced. They humorously brought their guns to church in Chapter 18 and the “men kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall.” Twain was making fun of the family because of the their messed up fight. Twain also includes humorous scenes just to make readers laugh. A classic example would be the Dauphin and the Duke. Their just two conmen with a talent for lying. When Huck meets the first man who calls himself a duke, Huck is suspicious but just plays along with it. The Dauphin that they also meet is really an old man. When he hears the “duke” is a duke, the old man tries to impress him by claiming royal ties. The old man claims he is the “rightful heir to the French throne”. Lastly, another example of comedy is in Chapter 33 when Tom, pretending to be somebody else, kisses his Aunt Sally. She is so surprised by him she starts to yell at him. Tom makes up a story saying the locals told him to do it. He tries to end off the argument saying, “N’m, I’m honest about it; I won’t ever do it again”.
All in all, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn includes both violence and humor. Violence, in the life Huck experienced. From being tortured by his pap, to seeing the brutal fued between the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons and the robbers’ plans for Jim Turner are examples of violence, while Pap’s wanting Huck’s fortune is an example of greed becoming into violence. Humor, from the two facedness projected by miss Watson, to the rasict comments from mrs. Phelps and the duke and king.
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