Huckleberry Finn Historical Context Essay

2881 Words12 Pages

Alberto Cardenas
Honors American Literature
24 May 2023
The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn: Historical Context
Mark Twain when describing the social structure of society in which he states: "Step into the turbulent world of post-Civil War America, where racial tensions ran deep and a young boy's journey unfolded amidst the winds of change”(Twain). In Mark Twain's “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” the river serves as both a physical and metaphorical backdrop, guiding Huck Finn on a transformative quest for freedom, challenging societal norms, and exposing the stark realities of a divided nation. Through its exploration of the societal and racial tensions that permeated the post-Civil War era, Twain's magnum opus offers profound …show more content…

A new social order was ushered in with the abolition of slavery, but the Civil War's aftermath deeply scarred the country. During the Reconstruction era, the unresolved problem of racial disparity gave rise to discriminatory laws and practices, escalating societal tensions and depriving African Americans of fundamental rights. People tried to navigate a changing culture and wrestled with their identities in this tumultuous environment. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain is a masterful depiction of the intricate racial and social relationships of this time. An article published in the New York Times sheds light on the novel's exploration of racism, describing it as a "powerful and unflinching examination of the prevailing racism of its time" (New York Times). The experiences of Huck and Jim are chronicled in Twain's book, revealing the numerous manifestations of racism they experience and the significant effects it has on their lives. Readers are given a vivid depiction of prejudice and the ethical difficulties it raises via the perspective of the juvenile protagonist, Huckleberry Finn. As Huck meets people from many social classes, Twain can explore the complex relationships between race, class, and morality. Huck's recollection of the effects of the civil war reflects his unique perspective: "The Widow Douglas took me for her son and tried to civilize me. But living in her house all the time was rough. She made me wash, eat properly, wear shoes, and kept me confined indoors. She never married and knew nothing about raising boys" (Twain 215). Huck was raised by his negligent father and as a result, he was hungry, poor, and illiterate. By educating him, the Widow Douglas tried to shape him into a well-behaved young man. Huck, on the other hand, defied social norms and craved freedom. Huck’s life was profoundly affected by the Civil War,

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