; Twain
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									  The Adventures of Huckleberry
 Manyconsider it the greatest
 American novel.
 – Ernest Hemingway wrote, “All modern
   American literature comes from one
   book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry

 Many people have also denounced
 the book for its usage of racially
 charged language.
   Huckleberry Finn (1885), was met with
    outright controversy in Twain’s time but is
    now considered one of the first great
    American novels.

   The use of the vernacular causes the book
    to be banned in some schools up to this
    – The “N-word” is often used to describe Jim, as
      well as other slaves.

   If the novel uses this language, what is
    the purpose in reading such a book?
   Any students who do not treat the
    material (especially the racially charged
    material) with respect will be asked to
    leave class.
    – You will be given an independent study unit.
            unit will be more rigorous and will require much
        This
        more of your time.

   If at any time you feel someone is not
    being appropriately respectful or you are
    having a problem with the racially charged
    language in the novel, please come see
    me before or after school.
     The Adventures of Huckleberry
   It is both a satire and an adventure novel.

   It uses a backdrop of colorful depictions of Southern

   It follows Huck Finn, the son of an abusive alcoholic
    father, and Jim, Miss Watson’s slave, who decide to
    flee on a raft down the Mississippi river to the free

   Their river raft journey has become an oft-used
    metaphor of idealistic freedom from:
     – oppression
     – broken family life
     – racial discrimination
     – social injustice
     The Adventures of Huckleberry
   A novel about one boy’s education and
    – Moral (ideas of freedom and slavery)
    – Intellectual
    – Emotional
        These3 are not autonomous, rather they influence
        each other in various intricate ways.

   The formation of the conscience will be
    linked to Huck’s growth.

   Where is the critical point of Huck’s
    growth or transformation?
   Mark Twain [pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne
    Clemens] (1835-1910), quintessential American
    humorist, lecturer, essayist, and author.

   Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri on 30
    November 1835, the sixth child born to Jane
    Lampton (1803-1890) and John Marshall Clemens

   In 1839 the Twain family moved to their Hill
    Street home, now the Mark Twain Boyhood Home
    and Museum with its famous whitewashed fence,
    in the bustling port city of Hannibal, Missouri.
   An important part of a river pilot’s craft is
    knowing the waters and depths, which, for the
    mighty Mississippi and her reefs, snags, and mud
    are ever changing. To ‘mark twain’ is to sound
    the depths and deem them safe for passage, the
    term adopted by Clemens as his pen name in

   The second novel in his Tom Sawyer adventure
    series, Huckleberry Finn (1885), was met with
    outright controversy in Twain’s time but is now
    considered one of the first great American novels.
   Missouri was one of the fifteen slave
    states when the American Civil War broke
    out, so Twain grew up amongst the
    racism, lynch mobs, hangings, and
    general inhumane oppression of African

   Mark Twain grew to despise the injustice
    of slavery and any form of senseless
    Though he never renounced his Presbyterianism, he wrote
     many pieces seen as irreligious.
    2 works of Twain that were seen as irreligious are:
1.   His article “The War Prayer” (1923)
     – “in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and
       country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in
       our good cause”
     – This was Twain’s condemnation of hypocritical patriotic and
       religious motivations for war.
     – It was not published until after his death because of his
       family’s fear of public outrage, to which it is said Twain
       quipped “none but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.”

2.   His satirical short stories Letters From Earth (1909)
     – “Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very, very
       best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst
       he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the
       time he is a sarcasm.”
 Twainwas well known for his sense
 of humor.
  – Twain is a master in crafting humorous
    verse with sardonic wit, and though with
    biting criticism at times he disarms with
    his renderings of colloquial speech and
    unpretentious language.
  – He is the source of numerous and oft-
    quoted witticisms and quips including:
                Twain Quotes
   “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let
    people think you are a fool than to open it and
    remove all doubt.”
   “Whenever I feel the urge to exercise I lie down
    until it goes away.”
   “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do
    the day after tomorrow.”
   “Don't go around saying the world owes you a
    living. The world owes you nothing. It was here
   “Education: that which reveals to the wise, and
    conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their
   “I have a higher and grander standard of principle
    than George Washington. He could not lie; I can,
    but I won't.”
                 Twain’s Death
   A prolific lecturer and writer even into his seventy-
    fourth year, he published more than thirty books,
    hundreds of essays, speeches, articles, reviews, and
    short stories, many still in print today.

   Mark Twain died on 21 April 1910 in Redding,

   Rests in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Livy’s hometown
    of Elmira, New York, buried beside her and the

   Twain’s Final written statement:
     – “Death, the only immortal who treats us all alike,
       whose pity and whose peace and whose refuge are
       for all—the soiled and the pure, the rich and the
       poor, the loved and the unloved.”

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