Solitude versus sharing : author-ity in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Low, Clare Siew Ching.
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This essay will explore how Twain, as author, makes use of Huck as the “author” of his own life story to portray a child’s character and morality. In conjunction with this portrayal, it will also explore the literary techniques of narrative style pertaining to the unreliable first-person narrative and the use of the vernacular, as well as the construction of experience in a book that is narrated episodically. The themes of isolation versus community and authorship as discussed through John Donne’s epigraph contribute to an understanding of these formal aspects of Twain’s style in Huckleberry Finn. Just as its composition has been informed by various life sources and experiences, a reading of the book cannot simply be informed by one analysis, but by multiple perspectives. The essay will also briefly discuss the issue of cultural and context specificity involved in Huckspeech. In line with this issue, the narrative will be compared, in part, to Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street which also employs a culturally-bound child narrator similar to Huck. The comparisons with her work further inform Huckspeech as a blend of cultural and linguistic forms as both novels combine the literary and linguistic techniques of the child’s perspective, retrospective narration and the vernacular.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University