How Mark Twain speaks to the reader in "Huckleberry Finn"

Essay by JCROLL4LIFEJunior High, 9th gradeA, April 2004

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In various spots in the novel "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, ideas and views are sometimes spoken "over the heads" of the characters. The reader understands and sees these particular points but the characters are oblivious to them.

One example of Twain speaking "over the heads" of his characters is when the ringmaster at the circus lets the drunk man ride the horse. Huck thinks that this man is a real drunk and was one of the performers playing a trick on the ringmaster. The reader understands that the drunk riding the horse is just part of the circus show. Mark Twain is speaking directly to the reader because Huck does not understand what is really going on because he is too young, naive and uneducated.

Another example of Twain speaking "over the heads" of his characters is when Sherburn makes the speech about society and all the cowards in the south.

He talks about how the juries never hang murders in fear that the friends of the murderer will kill them in revenge, therefore, one "real man" must lead a group of men with masks to lynch him in the dark. Sherburn Mocks them for their cowardice and view of justice. Sherburn's speech expresses some of the same truths about society that Huck has to confront. Mark Twain is speaking to the reader and trying to show them the hypocrisy and corruption of America at the time. He succeeds in getting the point across while tying it into the story line and characters of his novel.

Another example of Mark Twain speaking to his readers is when the Duke recites Hamlets Soliloquy. Huck Finn thinks that he has the famous speech memorized. Huck is too young, naive and uneducated to know that the Duke is getting all the...