Huck Finn Essay

1754 Words May 8th, 2014 8 Pages
Ellen Sirower Dr. Clark X English 12/10/13
Civilized Frauds and Noble Runaways
Most people often assume that the aim of civilizations is for humanity to function together, jointly and cooperatively, so that humans produce and experience the benefits of moral people who live and act together. However, in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the reverse is true. The swap in societal stereotypes is apparent in the king and the duke’s production of the Royal Nonesuch as well as Huck and Jim’s pleasant journey down the Mississippi after escaping the family feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepardsons. Leading up to the performance of the Royal Nonesuch, the king and the duke
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The days on the river are not separated, and Huck and Jim are not certain of how much time passes. The transition from one day to the next is described as “so quiet and smooth and lovely” (177) as they “sw(i)m by” (177). In order to tell when morning is coming, Huck depends on the lights in the cabins that surround the river. Huck and Jim’s schedule is not hasty or rushed; instead, the two wanderers “lazy along, and by-and-by lazy off to sleep” (178) when they feel tired, and watch the “lonesome” (178) river or “maybe see a steamboat, coughing along upstream” (178). On the contrary, during the days of the production of the Royal Nonesuch, the days are hurried, distinct, and filled with toil. The king and the duke spend the entire first day “hard at it, rigging up a stage, and a curtain, and a row of candles for footlights” (206). Though the performance is very brief, the scene is syntactically packed with details. Huck’s narration in the scene captures every little moment of the foolish “play” and the madness that follows; he is able to quote the “big fine-looking man” (207), or the judge’s speech verbatim. Huck’s narration of the three days within the scene feels rushed in itself, and there is no input of his personal opinions about what he sees. When Huck and the duke escape from the

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