S: Genre !
BC: By: Megan McFalls | Explaining the Genre | The purpose of this genre question is to show how Twain used all of his growing up experiences to make a novel. Huckleberry Finn was considered to be the first American novel ever created. When one can understand Twain's experiences, it gives people the opportunity to see the novel in a different way. Twain takes each experience and makes it into a story containing messages that relate to real life issues.
FC: How have the events from Twain's childhood compare to the ones written in Huckleberry Finn? | VS. | Mark Twain | Huck Finn
1: Mark Twain | -When Mark Twain was a child he lost his father at the age of 12. Twain's father died from the illness of pneumonia. - As a child, Twain and his family moved along the Mississippi River finding a place where they could live and make money. -Twain's mother was very strict on Mark attending school and wanted him very involved in religion. -Mark Twains brother Orion was the leader of the siblings, and Twain had always looked up to him and followed his lead before going on his own at 19. | Huck Finn | -Huck Finn grew up without a father by his side because he abandoned him being influenced by alcohol. -When Huck decided to run off from Miss Watson, he traveled and had adventures along the Mississippi River. -While Huck was living with Miss Watson, he went to school every day, and was forced to practice religion with her on a daily basis. -Tom Sawyer was Huck's role model, Huck always asked him for advice and followed his lead when Tom made plans for adventure. | Experiences
2: The Family Comparisons | When writing Huckleberry Finn, Twain expressed his sadness and loss through Pap, the father of Huck Finn. He does this by making pap a father who leaves Huck at a young age by the influence of Alcohol. When you look back at the book and on the biography of Mark Twain, one can see that he uses his mother Jane to influence the character of Miss Watson. Their both really strict on religion and school. Also, when Twain was younger he and his family traveled the Mississippi quite often trying to find a place to live. Like Twain, Huck travels the Mississippi, having adventures that were influenced by Twains experiences traveling. Lastly, Twain and Huck both have leaders who inspire them to have adventure and leadership skills. Orion, who was Twain's older brother, gave Twain the desire to be on his own. On the other hand, Tom Huck's best friend, gave Huck the desire to have adventure and use creativity along the way.
3: Orion Clemens | Jane Lampton Clemens | John Marshall Clemens | Miss Watson | Mississippi River | Pap and Huck
4: Slave Experiences | MARK TWAIN | -Mark Twain spent a lot of days on his uncle Quarles farm meeting and becoming friends friends with many slaves. -Twain had a butler much like a slave named George Griffin. -During Twain's time, slavery was big and many people viewed slaves as property. | HUCK FINN | -In Huckleberry Finn, Huck spent a lot of time with Jim, who was Miss. Watson's slave. -Huck didn't personally own a slave, but while on their journey, he referred to Jim as his "Nigger." -In the time period of Huckleberry Finn, slavery was a big issue and were also legal and owned by many whites. | How Twain incorporates his slave memories in Huck Finn | Since Twain grew up going to his uncles farm meeting slaves, he expresses this through meeting and becoming close with Jim at Miss Watson's. Also, Twain was very close with his butler George, showing that, he used himself as Huck to show how close they really were. Slavery during Twain's time was also a huge issue, so he used his time period of slaves in Huckleberry Finn. This is effective because it adds an emotional time to the story.
5: Uncle Quarles | Uncle Quarles Farm | Jim and Huck | Slaves being sold
6: Mississippi River Influences | Twain's Experiences influencing Huckleberry Finn | Mark Twain was born and raised on the Mississippi River. He had many experiences that contributed to his writings in Huck Finn. As a teen, Twain became a river pilot always traveling the Mississippi. Being a river pilot gave Twain the language he learned to write the conversations in Huckleberry Finn. Each character has a different way of speaking, all of which Twain learned from river piloting. Also while river piloting along the Mississippi, Twain became very interested in steam boats. He witnessed many of these ships sink, which he incorporates in the scene of the steam boat sinking with the robbers.
7: Mark Twain as a river pilot | Mark Twain river pilot Monument | Steam boat wreck scene in Huck Finn
8: Mark Twains Religious Experiences | Mark Twain had many experiences that led to his main beliefs. These experiences and the way he wrote were all expressed in his writing. Twain experienced harsh religious practices due to his mothers extensive lessons. Because of the pressure to be a good Christian, Twain was encouraged to do sin and use language that was inappropriate to his mothers likings. Also, Twain learned a lot about religion and superstitious beliefs by listening to slave stories and learning about how there is bad and good karma.
9: How These religious experiences compare to the ones in Huck Finn | Since Twain's mother encouraged him to par take in sin, Twain took this experience and used it as one of Huck's characteristics. Huck like Twain, rebelled by using cussing, running away, and lying. Twain knew this was only human, so he turns this into a major message throughout the novel. Also, Twain's learning of superstition and religion by slaves is shown between the relationship of Huck and Jim. Jim portrays many superstitions, like, "the more hair you grow on your chest, the richer you are." This is something Twain learned by his discussions with slaves. | “You can't pray a lie -- I found that out.” -Huck Finn
10: Mark Twain | Twain's living room where he practiced religion | Twain's home where he later left due to his moms strict beliefs. | Twain at the age of 19 when he left home | "A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar." | -Mark Twain
11: Huck Finn | Huck rebelling by smoking | Miss Watson giving Huck religious lessons | Jim telling Huck about the superstition of being rich compared to the hair on your chest
12: Twain's Experiences with money fitting into Huckleberry Finn | As a teenager, Twain traveled having many jobs making money for his mother. He set off being a type setter in New York promising his mom some of the wages he made. Twain worked really hard making low wages and his mom was greedy when asking for money. When Twain decided to be a river pilot, he left his mother and took his money with him. This is put into the novel because Huck has a lot of money being saved. Judge Thatcher is holding onto the money for Huck so it doesn't go missing. Like Twain's mom, Pap comes into town being greedy wanting all of Huck's money.
13: Huck running from Pap with his money | Twains typesetter: Now in his home museum | Judge Thatcher and Huck