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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: a Classic American Bildungsroman

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Classic American Bildungsroman Mark Twain’s famous novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is much more than a story about a boy and an escaped slave adventuring along the Mississippi River; it is a bildungsroman, a coming of age tale. Huckleberry has the mindset of a child in the beginning of the story. Over the course of the novel, Huckleberry gains a more mature outlook on things such as racism. He also becomes a more morally aware individual as a result of his adventures. Although Huckleberry regresses near the conclusion of the novel, it easy to see that he is far more mature than he is in the beginning of the novel and therefore a better person, Huckleberry has come of age. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is difinetly bildungsroman. In the beginning of the novel it is clear that Huckleberry is not mature in the least bit. He has a poor understanding of morals which is to be expected due to his lower class upbringing and lack of education, neither academic nor religious. Huckleberry addresses the fact that he has been living with the Widow Douglas: “she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out” (1). Although Huckleberry ends up not running away, it is clear to the reader that he is not happy trying to be civilized. He is a typical teenager trying to rebel. He is not interested in being religious or getting an education; he would much rather adventure with his friend, Tom Sawyer. Huckleberry thinks of himself as, “ignorant and so kind of low-down ornery” (15). He has already given up on fitting in with the rest of society. He would rather live in a small cabin off in the woods with his drunk father: “It was kind of lazy and jolly,…...

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