Lying is Story Telling (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

Essay by arisoncourtneyHigh School, 11th gradeB+, June 2014

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Courtney Arison

English 11 H

Mr. Smith

April 21, 2014

The Truth Behind Good and Bad Storytelling

Lying is story telling. One cannot make up a story without there being some deal of truth and experience to create the situation. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, lying is a predominant theme. Many of the characters are found to lie quite often through the novel. When knowing a story being told is a lie, it is easy to automatically deem it bad or inappropriate. However, with all the lies told in the novel, is it necessary that they all have to be suspected as bad? Before deciding the title of the lie, one must recognize the significance and the meaning behind the lie.

The first lie the reader is exposed to in the novel is by Tom Sawyer. The "stories" Tom is telling the members of his gang are taken directly from books he has read about pirates.

At a meeting with the gang, Tom says, "'Some authorities think different, but mostly it's considered best to kill them- except some that you bring to the cave and keep them till they're ransomed"' (11). A gang member responds by saying, "Ransomed, what's that?"(12) and Tom replies "I don't know. But that's what they do. I've seen it in books; and so of course that's what we've got to do" (12). Tom Sawyer has no true intention to ransom relatives of the gang members. However, he portrays it to the gang as though he knows what he is doing just by reading a few books. By forming the gang and saying that they will ransom people, Tom is living and telling the stories he has read. Although the actual storytelling in this instance is not a lie, the sense of...