Write a note on Mark Twain's novel Huckleberry Finn as a picaresque tale of the frontier?Please explain in detail.

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A picaresque novel is usually a satire. Its heroes are rascals with street smarts who live by their wits; sometimes they are referred to as anti-heroes. They are often depicted as inherently good, or innocent, living in a corrupt world, and by their adventures, they outsmart everyone else and rise above the corruption. They are also humorous. They sometimes travel about, sometimes with a goal in mind, but most often without. Also, they are usually narrated in the first person to give an eye-witness aspect to the tale. So, can you see how Huck Finn fits this definition?

Huck is the anti-hero. He is humorous and he gets by on his smarts. He escapes the corrupt society that is trying to "civilize" him. While he is on the raft, his good morals come out, but when he is in civilization, he is exposed to all sorts of corruption (i.e. Pap, the Widow Douglas and religion, slavery, the Duke and Dauphin, Tom Sawyer, etc.) Huck also travels about with no real destination in mind on the raft, although he does have a goal of trying to escape society and protect Jim. There is a lot of local color in the novel that places it in a specific time (pre Civil War) and place (the Mississippi River and the states that border it).

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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