Literary Devices In Huckleberry Finn

What are some literary devices in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapters 23-24?

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As in many of the chapters of the novel, dialect is used throughout this section of the novel. 

Colloquial language is used as well in the form of figures of speech and specialized, local terminology. An example of the use of figures of speech comes in Chapter XXIII when Huck narrates: 

Them rapscallions too in four hundred and sixty-five dollars in that three nights. I never seen money hauled in by the wagon-load like that before. 

This particular use of colloquial language also qualifies as hyperbole (overstatement for effect). 

Figurative language (metaphor) is used as well in this section of the novel. Huck describes the king's interrogation of a young man, writing that the king "fairly emptied out that young fellow". The young man was not, of course, literally emptied out. Figuratively, however, he was wrung dry of information.

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Natalie Saaris | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Here are a few more examples of literary devices in these two chapters:

  • Simile: The king is described as being "as splendid as a rainbow" in chapter 23.  The simile establishes a comparison between the king and the rainbow using the word "as".
  • Onomatopoeia: The audience "hee-hawed".  The sound of this word mimics the sound it is supposed to represent. (Chapter 23)
  • Anecdote: The story about Mr. Wilks. (Chapter 24)
  • Diction: You can tell that the narrator (as well as the other characters) use a particular way of speaking that is different from the standard way of writing and speaking.  The sentence, "If they warn't the beatenest lot, them two frauds, that ever I struck" marks a certain identity for the speaker based on his dialect.

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