Mark Twain Essay

1776 Words8 Pages
September 15, 2010 Deborah Cooper Wright American Literature Ernest Hemingway claimed that “Huckleberry Finn is the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before…” (excerpt from the lecture on Huckleberry Finn by Professor Ian Johnston of the Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC). True to the admonishments that Mark Twain gives at the first of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I found no motive or plot in his work. However, I did find a moral and I did find that the story was completely about the unique American experience. According to Wikipedia, “a picaresque novel is a popular sub-genre of prose fiction which is usually satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits in a corrupt society”. That would pretty much describe The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; therefore, it would be safe to say that it was purposely written as a picaresque novel. A picaresque novel was nothing new to the literature of the day, but what was new was the American experience Mark Twain incorporated into it. Until Twain, no author had ever written material in something other than proper English with the proper grammar. Twain threw that rule out the window. He wanted his readers to not only read the story, but to hear it in their minds as they pronounced the words as spoken by the different characters. This made Huck and Jim as well as all the other characters come to life. This was not a fast, skim-through read. The reader had to take time and sometimes figure out what was being said. Also, by using this earthy, totally American vernacular, the reader knows the educational and socio-economic level of each particular person as well as the fact that they were traveling farther and farther south in the United States. In America, it was

More about Mark Twain Essay

Open Document