Characterize the poetry of Emmeline GrangerfordWhat is Twain seeking to criticize about her work and Huck's reaction?

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writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the underlying currents throughout Huck Finn is Twain's disillusionment with the idea of Romanticism and Transcendentalism. He was a realist in every way, and greatly ridiculed the idea that man could perfect himself or that society would get better over time. Throughout the novel, he inserts elements that mock the views of Romanticism and Transcendentalism, and provides contrast between the way the Realist exists and the way the Romantic exists. (Contrasts between the personalities of Huck and Tom are one example).

Emmeline Grangerford's poetry is reflectant of Romantic lyrical poetry. Specific, the style and the subject matter (elegizing the death of loved ones) is similar to that of Emily Dickinson. Whether or not Twain was purposely mocking Dickinson is unknown and unlikely, but the writing of Emmeline shows his opinion of Romantic writers. Huck's reaction is very much a Realist's response. He enjoys it, what he can understand, but he is unsure as to why she is writing it when there are other things, such as feuding families, to focus on.

nicksfiance | Student

mark twain doesnt try to criticize her work he is trying to express how they looked and felt to him. he is trying to relate to hoe emmeline must have felt knowing she was dying yes it was dark morbid and depressing they still had an angelic look to her pictures. with her ''ode's'' to people that had died he was trying to show how she was taking death as something to recognize not ignore. i think she feared being forgotten like some of the other people who died

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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