Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn Debated, 1884-2001

You dont know about me, without you have read a book by the name of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” but that aint no matter. –Huck Finn
Few books in the American literary canon have been both as influential and as thoroughly debated as Mark Twains 1885 novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Shortly after its publication, it was banned from the Concord Public Library by a committee that found it “more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people.” Twains use of dialect and first person narration from an unschooled childs perspective were shocking to the cultural elite of the time, but the book transformed American literature. Authors were liberated by the very things the censors of the Concord Public Library found objectionable. The barrier between spoken and literary language dissolved and a new American literature emerged that was not bound by European conventions. In his 1935 book, The Green Hills of Africa, Ernest Hemingway wrote that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn…. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before.
There has been nothing as good since.”

Interactions between the novel and American culture

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