Huck Finn- Realism

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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Realism is a term that applies to authors of the early 19th century. These authors paved the way for many stories today and wrote with a different, previously non-existent motive. In a time when stories were fabricated fairy tales, they focused on composing stories that dealt with the reality of life, which included both enlightening and tragic events. "Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain is a novel bursting with realism aspects, ranging from the regional dialect of the characters to the outcome of the entire story.

The story mainly takes place along the Mississippi River. Huck, a 12-year-old boy, runs away from his alcoholic father who beats him. Upon doing so, he meets a slave, Jim, who has also run away because he does not want to be sold by his master. The two of them leave the town of St. Petersburg together and head to New Orleans via the Mississippi River.

Twain grew up in Missouri and is therefore able to paint a realistic picture of the surroundings. When describing the travels of Huck and Jim, he says, "Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on black hillsides, nothing but just a shiny bed of lights; not a house could you see. The fifth night we passed St. Louis, and it was like the whole world lit up"¦ but I never believed it till I see that wonderful spread of lights at two o'clock that still night." Because of this beautiful imagery, the reader can almost experience St. Louis without even traveling there. Twain obviously used his own knowledge and experiences when describing the sites along the Mississippi River.

However, he not only uses descriptions in the novel, but Twain also uses the language of the narrator to contribute to the realism of Huck Finn. Huck...