Analysis Of Mark Twain 's ' Huckleberry Finn '

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Mark Twain is acknowledged to have been a canny observer of his times, times marked by racism, slavery, social and economic inequalities. Any one of these elements could make a case for loss of innocence in those sepia times in a Southern culture with conflicting and contrasting social rules, but there may be no greater story about loss of innocence than his The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The story is deceptively coy. It depicts a time and characters in an age far removed from our own, and Twain presents his narrative in terms of a young boy who proceeds on a great adventure. That much certainly is true. But what young Huck experiences along the way to adventure is how he learns to deal with his world and its ways as his shucks off his youthful innocence for a too-early adulthood filled with adult dealings. Huck’s relationship with Jim gives Huck ample reason to question his upbringing about “niggers.” He’s exposed to the hypocrisy of slave owners, witnessed crimes unpunished, cruelty, malicious lies and the duplicity of white people. I assert that Huck Finn, start to finish, is an utterly complete narrative precisely about Huck’s loss of innocence, beginning with being fed up with his status quo. “... and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out,” Huck said. “I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied” (77). That was his first “light out” but, while it didn’t last, it wouldn’t be the only one, just the first. Along the way he
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