Essay, Research Paper: Adventures Of Huck Finn And Town Life

Literature: Mark Twain

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In Mark Twain’s novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” he talks about
small town life in Southern Mississippi. He portrays it as gossipy, a place
where everyone knows everyone and knows everyone else’s business and doesn’t
care to tell it. It is confining to Huck and Jim because there is too much
conforming to society. This is why they escape on the raft. In Chapter 18 when
Huck goes into town dressed as a girl to get information he talks to a woman who
has only lived there two weeks. She is able to tell him everything that is going
on despite this. This shows how in small towns people aren’t afraid to talk.
Not only did the woman freely give all the information to someone she didn’t
know, someone had to tell her all about it in a two week tome span. Twain is
depicting small towns in a gossipy manner, where no one has discretion. Twain is
also characterizing small towns as confining with a lot of conformation to
society. When Huck goes to live with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, they try
to turn him into someone he’s not. They dress him up in fancy clothes, try to
teach him religion and try to take away all of his individuality. They do this
because this is what the society in their small town accepts, and they don’t
want him to be different than anyone else, because how would that make them
look. Huck however, escapes their attempts to “sivilize” him by running
away. Twain shows that he has some contempt for small town life and it’s
behaviors. Miss Watson is one of the main people to show this because of her
trying to change Huck. Twain attempts to demonstrate this by portraying small
town life and gossipy and confining. His dislike is seen especially through Huck
who escapes the conformity to live his own life.
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