Discuss Twain’s use of comparison-contrast in “Two Ways of Seeing a River” Essay

Discuss Twain’s use of comparison-contrast in “Two Ways of Seeing a River” Essay.

In, Two Ways of Seeing A River, the author, Mark Twain, described his idea of the Mississippi river from two angles or two perspectives and used comparison and contrast to illustrate his points. He first began by using a metaphor in his opening words. He compared to Mississippi river to a language which he had already mastered.

However, he said that upon his mastery of the river, he lost something which is his admiration for it when he saw it the last time.

Twain described how majestic and how wonderful it was when he first saw the river on a steamboat. He vividly illustrated in the story tiny details like the color of the river during the sunset and the ripples in the water, among others. But when he returned a second time, everything marveled about the river was gone.

            Basically, Twain’s comments on the river on the third paragraph were almost the opposite of his comments on the second.

It can be then deduced that the author used a block pattern of comparison in his story because he first described his beautiful experiences upon seeing the river the first time before describing his less lively experience on the second time.

            Moreover, Twain’s differing comments on the river basically says that things such as experiences become less exciting or even less fulfilling the second time around. In other words, a man who has already experienced something simply passes by it the next time. In the case of the author in the story, he simply read and observed the Mississippi river rather than marvel at it because he has already seen it before.

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Discuss Twain’s use of comparison-contrast in “Two Ways of Seeing a River” Essay

Response to “Two Ways of Seeing a River” Essay

Response to “Two Ways of Seeing a River” Essay.

In “Two Ways of Seeing a River,” author Mark Twain uses a blocked structured comparative analysis of the river to describe how he feels about the river, or “sees” it now that he has “learned” it and there is less beautiful mystery associated with it. Twain develops each paragraph to using metaphor, “A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood” (par. 1), simile, “ a long , ruffled trail that shone like silver” (par. 1) , and personification, “There were graceful curves” (par. 1) to describe vividly how he sees the river before and after his mastering of the water.

After Twain masters the river, he follows his previously established pattern in paragraph one to develop in order the contrasts of the river now that it is no longer a mystery. He describes the same river with more somber, less colorful language, “This sun means we that we are going to have wind tomorrow” (par. 2). What Twain is really comparing is his romantic, uneducated view of the river to his more rational, understood knowledge on how to navigate and survive on the water.

Work Cited
Twain, Mark. “Two Ways of Seeing a River”

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Response to “Two Ways of Seeing a River” Essay

Portrayal of Family in Huckleberry Finn Essay

Portrayal of Family in Huckleberry Finn Essay.

Huck is a kind of natural philosopher, skeptical of social doctrines, and willing to set forth new ideas. However, when it comes to the idea of a family, Huck is ignorant in all ways. Nevertheless, Huck’s adventures throughout the novel present him with opportunities to gain the family that he has secretly wanted all his life because of his lack of compassion from his remaining family. This new discovery to a family begins with Tom Sawyer. Tom Sawyer initiated himself as the decision-maker, with Huck listeing without argument, much like a big brother little brother relationship.

In the first few chapters of the book, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer are established as foils for each other-characters whose actions and traits contrast each other in a way that gives readers a better understanding of both characters. Due to these contrasts, Tom has established himself as Huck’s older brother. Later on in the book, Huck comes across the Grangerford family. The Grangerford family is a tragic family in a huge predicament similar to Romeo and Juliet.

Huck finds himself attached to the family in a way. “Everybody loved to have him (Col.

Grangerford) around, too; he was sunshine most always-I mean he made it seem like good weather. ” Huck cries over Buck’s body because Huck has begun to think of Buck as a friend as well as a brother. Huck finds the feud that the Gangerford’s have with the Shepherdson’s unnecessary and harmful, and believes it will only bring hurt and loss to both sides, which it inevitably does. The future losses, which are inescapable hurt Huck because he feels connected to each family member in a different way, even the dead sister, Emmeline.

Throughout all these situations that Huck goes through, Jim has supported him, even when Jim was not with Huck at every time. Jim first met up with Huck on the island. Jim escaped Widow Douglas’s home because he was to be sold down south, which would separate Jim from his family forever. Jim is hands down the most important person to Huck throughout the novel, putting himself in a category as one of Huck’s new family members. Jim has been associated as Huck’s father figure. During their time together, Jim and Huck make up a sort of alternative family in an alternative place, apart from society.

Huck escaped from society for adventure and a new life, while Jim has escaped from society so that he wouldn’t be separated from his family by being sold down south. Jim is based off of his love, whether it’s for his family or his growing love for Huck. Jim was thought of by Huck as a stupid, ignorant slave in the beginning of the novel, but as Huck spends more time with Jim, Huck realizes that Jim has a different kind of knowledge based off of his years as well as his experiences with love. In the incidents of the floating house and Jim’s snakebite, Jim uses his knowledge to benefit both of them but also seeks to protect Huck.

Jim is less imprisoned by conventional wisdom than Huck, who has grown up at least partly in mainstream white society. Jim proves his humanity to Huck by baring himself emotionally to Huck, expressing a longing for his family and his guilt when Jim mentions the time he beat his daughter when she did not deserve it. Nevertheless, throughout their time together, Huck has still had the idea of turning Jim in. Huck searches the social and religious belief systems that white society has taught him for a way out of his predicament about turning Jim in.

In the end, Huck is unable to pray because he cannot truly believe in these systems, for he cares too much about Jim to deny Jim’s existence and humanity. “It was a close place. I took . . . up (the letter I’d written to Miss Watson), and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said.

And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming”. The logical consequences of Huck’s action as well as Huck’s growing affection for Jim, rather than the lessons society has taught him, drive Huck to tear up the letter. Though he does not admit this truth to himself, Huck trades his fate for Jim’s and as a result, accepts the life of a black man as equal to is own. By helping the doctor treat Tom after Tom was shot in the leg as well as shielding Huck from seeing his father’s corpse, Jim affirms that he is not only a decent human being, but also a model father.

Huck’s feelings about society and the adult world are based on his negative experience, the main one being Huck’s drunk abusive father, “Pap”. “Paphe hadn’t been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn’t want to see him no more”. Although Huck was free from his father for a long time, the new judge in town returns Huck to Pap because he privileges Pap’s “rights” over Huck’s welfare, much like the relationship between a slave and a master. The judge fails to take into account Pap’s drunkenness and abusive past, which puts Huck in a sizable predicament.

Because of Pap’s abusive nature and drunkenness, Pap fails Huck in providing Huck with a set of beliefs and values that are consistent and satisfying to Huck, making Pap fail as a father figure in another way. Although Pap is a hideous, hateful man in nearly every aspect, Huck does not immediately abandon him when given the chance. Huck is grasping on the final thread he has of family. Huck truly believes in the sense of family, and desperately wants it, but at the same time, is scared by the idea (won’t let Widow Douglas close).

By placing hope in the wrong person (Pap), Huck misses out on the possibility of a good family with Widow Douglas. As apposed to Jim, who represents the best of white society even though he is black, Pap represents the worst of white society: he is illiterate, ignorant, violent, and profoundly racist. Though to a very small degree, Huck has been led to believe the same. Pap represents the true evil in the book, making Huck’s belief in a family cynical and saddened. Through Huck’s adventures on the Mississippi River, he has created new homes for himself at the locations of his new family members as well as comfort zones for Huck.

Huck and Jim, both alienated from society in fundamental ways, first find home on the island where they meet up. The island provides a pastoral, dreamlike setting: a safe peaceful place where food is abundant. Through two incidents on the island (the floating house and Jim’s snake bit), Huck and Jim are reminded that no location is safe for them. Because of this Jim and Huck leave on a raft as an escape from both being caught, as well as civilization and society as well. “We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all.

Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. ” Huck and Jim’s raft becomes a sort of haven of brotherhood, equality, and growing affection, as both find refuge and peace from a society that has treated them badly. Compared to the outrageous incidents onshore, the raft represents a retreat from the outside world, the site of simple pleasures and good companionship. Huck and Jim do not have to answer to anyone on the raft, and it represents a kind of utopian life for them.

They try to maintain this idyllic separation from society and its problems, but as the raft makes its way southward, unsavory influences from onshore repeatedly invade the world of the raft. In a sense, Twain’s portrayal of life on the raft and the river is a romantic one, but tempered by the realistic knowledge that the evils and problems of the world are inescapable. Through different events, Huck ends up at the Phelps’s’ house. Although the reason Huck goes to the Phelps’s’ house in the first place is to find Jim, he still finds a sense of home there.

When caught creeping around the house, Huck was caught. Aunt Sally came out, mistaking him for her nephew, who is inevitably Tom Sawyer. Huck pretends to be his best friend Tom so that he could find a way to help Jim as well as stay out of trouble. Although Aunt Sally thinks Huck is Tom, she still gives off that motherly vibe, even after Huck mentions his deception. After the final escape, the Phelp’s house seems to come to even more life then it was before. Aunt Sally smothers the boys, Aunt Polly scolds, and everyone bumbles along

Ultimately, readers are left questioning the meaning of what we has been read: perhaps Twain means the novel as a reminder that life is ultimately a matter of imperfect information and ambiguous situations, and that the best one can do is to follow one’s head and heart. Perhaps Twain means also to say that black Americans may be free in a technical sense, but that they remain chained by a society that refuses to acknowledge their rightful and equal standing as individuals. Unfortunately, these questions seldom have straightforward answers, and thus the ending of the novel contains as many new problems as solutions.

Portrayal of Family in Huckleberry Finn Essay

Absurdity of a “Sivilized” Society-an Analysis of Huckleberry Finn Essay

Absurdity of a “Sivilized” Society-an Analysis of Huckleberry Finn Essay.

The Absurdity of a “Sivilized” Society Authors often express their views on any given subject through their works, and Mark Twain is no exception. One may read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and believe it is simply a novel about a young boys childhood; however, a deeper analysis of the text reveals many of Mark Twain’s expressions about important moral and social issues. Perhaps one of the most prominent being the frailty of human justice and the hypocrisy we as a people foster in our societies.

Throughout the novel, Huck meets people who appear to be good, civilized people, but always end up having a hypocritical fault about them. Though not every instance is a grave matter, Twain’s writing shows that societies in Huck’s world are based upon corrupted laws and principles that defy basic logic. Twain’s writing leaves the reader with an understanding that cowardice, illogical choices, and selfish as well as hypocritical people mark these societies.

Twain begins weaving hypocrisies and cants early into the story; one of the most appalling being the issue of Huck’s custody.

This flawed system of thought is first shown when the new judge in St. Petersburg rules that Pap has rightful custody of Huck. Although this would be bad for Huck if his father became his legal guardian, the judge asserts Pap’s rights to Huck as his biological son, despite the fact that this is placing Huck’s welfare below the so-called rights of his father. Ironically, this system would put Huck under his dad’s custody, leaving him worse off, whereas Jim is separated from his family despite being a far better father and person.

However, the welfare of the individual isn’t highly valued in society, and thus they are placed in uncomfortable, often dangerous situations. The judge tries to put Huck back in contact with his horrid father and therefore abuse, but Jim, a loving parent, never receives help to be with his children and help rescue them from slavery and separation. This decision defies all logic one would find in a normal society, and yet this kind of thinking was commonplace.

The values and welfare of a black person were nowhere near as important as those of a white man, and even though Jim is a grown man with the most in tune moral compass of any character in the book, Huck still has power over him simply because he is white. By comparing the situation of Pap and Huck with slaves and their masters, Twain hints that it is impossible for a society to be civilized so long as it practices slavery. Though not quite as harmful, another example of a hypocritical character can be found in the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson.

In an attempt to “sivilize” Huckleberry, Miss Watson reprimands him for smoking a cigarette and yet she snuffs tobacco. “Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn’t. She said it was a mean practice and wasn’t clean, and I must try to not do it any more… And she took snuff, too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself” (Twain 2). She prevents Huck from doing what she believes is uncivilized and detrimental to his health, yet doesn’t think twice about proceeding to do something very similar simply because she herself enjoys it.

This example of hypocrisy is not particularly malicious, but yet another example of how all the characters Huck is involved with has some form of a hypocritical flaw. Furthermore, Miss Watson is quite religious and, in efforts to teach Huck, tells him that all he must do is pray for something and he will have it. However, when Huck needs fishhooks and asks her to help pray for them, she calls him a fool. “Then Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it. She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it.

But it warn’t so. I tried it. Once I got a fish- line, but no hooks. It warn’t any good to me without hooks. I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn’t make it make it work. By-and-by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool. ” (Twain 8). Miss Watson tells Huck that if he does something, he can expect a certain result but when things don’t work, he asks for her help and she chides him for it! The widow Douglas and Miss Watson are religious, educated, and yet, they are slave owners.

They educate Huck, and teach him religion but find it perfectly acceptable to do things contrary to their teachings, such as snuff and practice slavery. The latter, being a more insidious humbug of St. Petersburg, is shown over and over again throughout Huck’s journey. As Huck begins to stray from his backwards, insincere town, he reaches different places with different people, all different in their own way and yet, very similar to those in St. Petersburg. The Duke and Dauphin are two despicable con men who join Huck and Jim as they continue to drift on the river.

The Duke and Dauphin cause trouble for Huck and Jim, as well as the towns they visit. The fault here is that, the Duke and Dauphin are able to scam entire communities by lying, pretending to be someone they’re not, and cheating their guests. Though they spend most of the novel doing awful things or planning awful things, they both are hardly punished. After the first showing of The Royal Nonesuch, the first group of attendees realizes they have been cheated. However, instead of chastising the Duke and Dauphin, the audience that night chooses to lie about the performance in order to cheat a second group of attendees. Hold on! Just a word, gentlemen. ” They stopped to listen. “We are sold—mighty badly sold. But we don’t want to be the laughing stock of this whole town, I reckon, and never hear the last of this thing as long as we live. NO. What we want is to go out of here quiet, and talk this show up, and sell the REST of the town! Then we’ll all be in the same boat. Ain’t that sensible? ” (“You bet it is! —the jedge is right! ” everybody sings out. ) “All right, then—not a word about any sell. Go along home, and advise everybody to come and see the tragedy. ” (Twain 114).

Most hypocritical, however, is the fact that the Judge of the town conceived this plan. He who stands as a pillar of justice and truth in the town decides to cheat the others in order to save face. By the third night, everyone in town has seen the play and the Duke and Dauphin make a large profit from their misconduct. Immoral acts committed by the Duke and Dauphin never yielded punishments, but brazen, drunk insults led to execution. Boggs, described as the “most easy going old fool in Arkansas”, began shouting insults and anathemas at Sherburn, the man who had cheated him. He [Sherburn] was standing perfectly still in the street, and had a pistol raised in his right hand—not aiming it, but holding it out with the barrel tilted up towards the sky… Boggs throws up both of his hands and says, “O Lord, don’t shoot! ” Bang! goes the first shot, and he staggers back, clawing at the air—bang! goes the second one, and he tumbles backwards on to the ground, heavy and solid, with his arms spread out. ” (Twain 108). The Duke and Dauphin cheat entire communities and remain unpunished by their terrible acts; however, peccadilloes like shouting drunken insults result in execution.

Twain’s writing exposes the issue of faulty justice and duplicitous nature of men. Furthermore, Sherburn’s speech to the angry mob around his house in relation to a lack of logic and cowardice capitulates Twain’s societal views. Twain’s use of hypocrisy helps express his views on societal issues. Though not every instance is harmful, such as Miss Watson’s snuff usage, other notable examples such as the execution of Boggs and the custody of Huck highlight his belief that cowardice, lack of logic, and selfishness are at the core of society, not the communal welfare that it should be.

The repeated instances of insecure, logic defying justice are the root of the problem, as thoughtless crimes are punished severely whereas serious crimes go scot-free. Throughout the novel, Huck meets characters that appear good, yet Twain makes a conscious effort to prove they are prejudiced slave owners. The illogical choices and hypocritical people presented throughout the novel show the hypocrisy and ludicrousness of the “sivilized” society.

Absurdity of a “Sivilized” Society-an Analysis of Huckleberry Finn Essay