Realism Versus Romanticism in Huck Finn

4082 Words Feb 2nd, 2012 17 Pages
Charlie Hoffmann
Mr. Kearney
Amer. Lit. & Comp./3
17 December 2009
Huck Rejects Romanticism
In every man’s life he faces a time that defines his maturation from boyhood to manhood. This usually comes from a struggle that the boy faces in his life. In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck’s defining moment of maturity is Huck’s struggle with Tom in helping Jim escape. Tom sends Huck and Jim through a wild adventure to free Jim because of his Romantic thinking. Tom represents society and its Romantic ideals while Huck struggles to break away from these and become his own realist individual. These Romantic ideas lead Huck into many dangerous situations that pit Huck and Jim as Realist individuals versus a society infused
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But it’s too blame’ simple; there ain’t nothing to it. What’s the good of a plan that ain’t no nothing to it” (Twain 232)? This shows how Tom’s Romantic thinking will get Huck and him into trouble. Tom knows that Huck’s plan would work but he is more concerned with the troubles that come along with the plan. This is influenced by literature’s Romantic ideas. Huck realizes that Tom’s plan is going to be trouble and more complex than his when he says, “…[A]nd I see in a minute it was worth fifteen of mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides” (Twain 233). There is no reason for Huck and Tom to make a more elaborate plan because Huck’s plan would work fine. Huck even realizes this, but Huck just has his thinking to back up his idea. While Tom has read all these books that would back up his thinking that the escape must be as complex as possible. Huck does not even question Tom’s plan because he feels Tom’s plan is just as good as his. This shows how Huck is dwarfed by society’s Romantic ideals and does not even want to try to attack these ideas. Huck and Tom start to look around the cabin Jim was in and they get into another discussion about the plan. Huck finds a simple and easy way to get Jim out but Tom cannot settle for the easy way out. He says to Huck, “It’s as simple as tit-tat-toe, three-in-a-row, and as easy as playing hooky. I should hope we can find a way

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