I need help with the beginning notice in "Huck Finn".At the beginning of the novel Huck Finn there is the Notice by the Mark Twain stating that no one try to find a motive, moral, or plot...

I need help with the beginning notice in "Huck Finn".

At the beginning of the novel Huck Finn there is the Notice by the Mark Twain stating that no one try to find a motive, moral, or plot in the novel. In what tone of voice do you imagine Mark Twain was speaking these words? What does he mean by it and why did he write us this notice?

I am not looking for the actual answer, just maybe some hints to get me started.

2 Answers | Add Yours

slchanmo1885's profile pic

slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I would add that Twain is a master of satire, and the notice is a very satirical way of the author warning the reader not to look for motives or morals, when in fact, by posting a notice he is actually bringing the reader's attention to those things. It is an ironic statement, that the book is not meant to be taken seriously when in fact it is a very serious statement. The reference to the character's dialect is a nod to those who might read the book and feel that it is badly written because of the poor English. In fact, Huck Finn was banned in some places when it was first published because some people believed that it had inproper English and it would be a bad influence on people.

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Twain is speaking very tongue-in-cheek. Motives, morals and plots are exactly what the novel is about. Twain's notice suggests a degree of storytelling honesty or writer's integrity that most lesser literature fails to possess; he conveys these literary elements without having to "add them on." Interestingly, the punishments upon the reader for attempting to divine these elements increases from prosecution, to banishment, to death. In other words, read the novel for its own sake.

We’ve answered 318,913 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question