American Experience in Huck Finn

1737 WordsJun 14, 20117 Pages
“All modern American Literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn..” claimed Ernest Hemingway, a American author and journalist. This quote represents the idea and perception of Huckleberry Finn as a defining moment in American Literature, a time when a new culture was being formed west of the Atlantic that had many different subjects and characteristics than that of the literature in Europe. What makes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn so original and such a representation of America is that whatever Huckleberry Finn, the character, is about or can be defined by, is what America was all about. Through this complex character, Mark Twain was able to create a new American experience and show the reader all about it.…show more content…
He does not see in moral meaning in nature like the transcendentalists of the time, rather it was an escape of the modern world, a place to have pleasant feelings. This freedom is an American experience. In just a purely physical sense, America has the opportunities for freedom. Vast lands, ample rivers, defined seasons all allow the American to seek freedom from society. This is something that was not seen in Europe as you were subjected to just your own country’s land through language, cultural, and physical barriers. This idea of jumping on a raft and finding your freedom, both spiritually as in the case of Huck and physically in the case of Jim, is something that represents a true American experience. This myth of the open frontier continued in writing for decades to come, a myth that would allow the individual American to escape the rapidly growing urban centers that were developing an uneducated middle-class. The last particularly American subject is the hero of the novel himself, Huck. Huck is envisioned as this romantic anti-society anti-inheritance hero. In coming-to-age novels of the time, many were determined to show the process the character mature, moving past their youthful selves and into a role of social acceptance of culture. Huck represents a new American subject, on who speaks as he wishes, and does as he wants. Because of his traveling lifestyle, Huck does not concern himself with inheritance
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