Week 5 Blog

Take any one of the short sections where Mark Twain describes nature with such vividness and immediacy. Quote the passage and then discuss what it is, in the word choice, the use of images and the sentence structure that gives the language such amazing life.

This second night we run between seven and eight hours, with a
current that was making over four mile an hour. We catched fish and
talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It
was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, lay-ing on our
backs looking up at the stars, and we didn’t ever feel like talking loud,
and it warn’t often that we laughed—only a little kind of a low

chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and noth-
ing ever happened to us at all—that night, nor the next, nor the next. 

Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on black hill-
sides, nothing but just a shiny bed of lights; not a house could you see.

Huckleberry Finn, ch. 12

It is evident through this passage that Twain utilised the childish naivety of “Huck” and his responses to the environment around him including the natural world, to demonstrate his favour towards the more simpler innocence of humanity which is often only possessed by a child when immersing themselves in their surroundings. The scene is a depiction of vastness that “Huck” has found himself in between the skies and the river itself. “Huck” has evidently disconnected from the institutionalised social values in favour of the more wild and untamed landscape of the Mississipi river, which is in particular expressed by the imagery used to depict the darkness from the “black hillsides” of the town which at night would evidently blend between the river and the sky. “Huck”’s narration of the moment the moment details lacking conversation possibly an insight into the awe he feels towards the vastness of his immersed surroundings. This alongside the quote “nothing ever happened to us at all” is a resemblance of the comfort “Huck” may hold in this new found environment alongside his emotion of awe. It is clear that Twain has utilised the perspective of the environment by a child to call towards his readers own spiritual innocence in order to coercee them to view the beauty within the natural landscape.

Advertisements