Romanticism in the Novel “Huckleberry Finn”

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The novel Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a brilliantly scribed story about a young man who sees the world differently compared to others around him. Throughout the novel, author Mark Twain reveals a new vision of romanticism. As Huck and Jim travel together throughout the story, Huck has to battle what society is telling him with his internal feeling.

Society is telling him that he should turn in Jim because he is miss Watson’s property. But, his inner conscience is telling him to be Valorous and continue to help Jim seek freedom. Peter Ackroyd defines romanticism as “ the story of man’s escape from the shackles of commerce and industry to the freedom of nature”. Romanticism began around the start of the French Revolution in 1789 and finished around 1850. Being a romantic means taking the side of nature against the industry.

The biggest evidence of romanticism in Huckleberry Finn is the bond Huckleberry Finn creates with Jim (An African American slave). This is a shining example of romanticism because, in Huck’s society, African Americans aren’t seen as people, but rather they are seen as property. To help a slave escape to freedom is in essence, the same as stealing property from its owner.

Evidence of this is when Jim and Huck are on the raft, Jim constantly talked about going to the free states so he could earn enough money to buy his wife and children. But as they seem to be approaching the land of freedom, Huck began to feel guilty about stealing miss Watson’s “property”.

So much that Huck made a Derring-do decision to give up Jim. But that feeling was Fugacious when Jim Lenitive him by calling Huck his only friend and the only person to keep a promise to him. “Dah you go, de ole true Huck; de on’ white gentleman dat ever kep’ his promise to ole Jim.” Right then, along comes a skiff with two men in it, with guns, and they stopped and I stopped.

One of them says: What’s that, yonder?” A piece of a raft,” I say. Do you belong to it?” “Yes, sir.”“Any men on it?”“Only one, sir.”(Twain 125) “I tried, for a second or two, to brace up and out with it, but I wasn’t man enough—hadn’t the spunk of a rabbit I see I was weakening; so I just give up trying, and up and says—“He’s white.” (Twain 125). This passage shows Huck’s internal battle with turning Jim in and helping him escape to freedom.

One night when the two boys were floating along the Ohio River, they get separated from one another in the fog. After some time, Huck finds Jim sleeping on the raft. When Jim wakes up he is ecstatic to see that Huck. Huck uses this to almost make Jim caterwaul by telling him that their separation was just a dream. After serious Wanderlust from Jim, he concludes that Huck was lying to him about not getting separated. This hurts Jim enough to make him Huck feel bad and apologize. “


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Romanticism in the Novel “Huckleberry Finn”. (2020, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/romanticism-in-the-novel-huckleberry-finn/



How does Mark Twain criticize romanticism?
Mark Twain criticizes romanticism by portraying the harsh realities of life and rejecting the idea of idealism and exaggerated emotions in his works, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He believes that romanticism is a false and unrealistic portrayal of life that ignores the flaws and imperfections of society.
Is Huck an idealist a realist or a romantic idealist realist romantic?
Huck is an idealist realist because he holds onto his ideals while still being aware of the reality around him. He is also a romantic because he believes in the power of love and emotion.
Is Huck Finn realism or romanticism?
Huck Finn is a novel by Mark Twain that is set in the American South. The novel is told from the perspective of Huck, a white boy who runs away from home and has many adventures. The novel is a mix of realism and romanticism.
What are the 4 main themes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Themes Slavery and Racism. Society and Hypocrisy. Religion and Superstition. Growing Up. Freedom.
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