Realism and Romanticism in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Realism and Romanticism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” This quote by Mark Twain exposes some of Twain's viewpoints about literature. By Twain stating that fiction needs to be credible, he is undoubtedly sharing his partiality to Realism over Romanticism. According to, his preferred literary style exposes everyday life in a clear and realistic way, a style known as Realism. In contrast, Romanticism emphasizes inspiration, subjectivity, emotion, and nature's importance. Surprisingly, even though Twain obviously prefers Realism, there are numerous aspects of Romanticism throughout Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This classic novel provides a story that intermingles Realism and Romanticism. The setting, characterization, and main themes of the novel hold countless examples of these divergent literary styles. The utilization of flamboyant detail allows Twain to create a fascinating visual setting. As an act of realism, Twain uses actual times, towns, and rivers in his setting. For instance, the era of the novel is set around 1835-1845. We know this because Twain mentions that the novel is set forty to fifty years before the time of publication. (Twain 130) He places the setting in St. Petersburg, Missouri as well as various other locations along the Mississippi. By using existing places, Twain enables the reader to have a more realistic view of the story. In doing this, Twain is using the literary device of Realism. In addition to Twain's use of realism in the setting, he utilizes a number of Romantic techniques to convey detailed aspects of the character's environment. Romantic literature often includes personification. In Huckleberry Finn, Twain clearly personifies nature. It can be assumed that Twain did this to establish
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