How Mark Twain's Beliefs Were Shown through Huck Finn
Uploaded by joemommasllama on Dec 16, 2008
Mark Twain: The conscience of a country.
When writing, a person’s inner thoughts come to life. It happens whether they mean it to or not. The author might accidentally choose certain words that bring their own feelings to light, or they could come right out and say how they feel. The point is that every author, no matter how good, will project what they believe onto their writing. Mark Twain does this in The adventures of Huckleberry Finn on numerous occasions. In a time of extreme patriotism and narrow-mindedness Twain made the nation rethink their most basic of beliefs. In a bold move, Twain chronicled his beliefs pertaining to religion, slavery, and civilization. Each time his “profanity saving” pen touched paper he acted as the nation’s conscience. Mark Twain, through the use of wit and satire, challenged the most basic of American beliefs for nearly half a century
Religion was a common target of Twain. “What put twain off about religion was its bossiness and it’s alignment with corrupt community values…” (Blount 53). In Huckleberry Finn these beliefs are evident in the character of the Widow Douglas. Though she is a professed Christian she takes no stock in the Christian principles of acceptance and focuses instead on the “bossiness” aspect of Religion. The widow was against practices that she took no part in. It could either be that she thought she always did the right thing or possibly that she determined right and wrong. The former of these two options would make her incredibly arrogant, quite possibly a trait twain wanted to pass off as a Christian trait. Huck said it best when he said “of course that was all right, because she done it herself” (Twain 2). One of the most overt examples of religious hypocrisy was presented through the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons. The two feuding families who killed each other went to church together.
Next Sunday we all went to church, about three mile, everybody a-horseback. The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons done the same. It was pretty ornery preaching – all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness; but everybody said it was a good sermon, and they all talked it over going home, and had such a powerful lot to say about faith and good works and free grace and preforeordestination,...