Working with an Academic Journal on Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer

| 1 Comment

The article I chose was peer reviewed and found using EBSCOhost.  The article was written in 2006 and is 15 pages in length.  This article is written by Paul Lynch and is titled "Not Trying to talk Alike and Succeeding: The Authoritative Word and Internally-Persuasive Word in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn".  Once I found this article I was skeptical to word with it for this pre-discussion, mainly because it seemed like a very difficult topic as well as difficult to understand.  I decided to stick with the article though because I knew it would be a challenge.  The article begins by stating that Twain(Clemens) has given Huck his own voice in the story from the get go.  By doing this, Huck becomes "a different kind of hero, and one who is ulitmately more compelling" (Lynch 173).  The author reveals his idea that in order to understand Huck's importance of a narrator, we should understand Tom Sawyer and proceed to contrast them.  Tom Sawyer is an omniscent narrator who presents himself as very authorative.  While Tom's Sawyer's voice as a narrator is dominating the narrator feels as though he experiences no real risk, therefore he cannot really be considered a rebel.  On the other hand, Huck Finn "confronts real risk throughout his story" (Lynch 177).  For example, Tom pretends to run away, but Huck actually does, and with a runaway slave.  Huck's story is also more compelling because he is telling the story, not the Clemens.  Huck also appears as though he does not think before he speaks. 

This article expanded my understanding of the entire work because it make a lot of good points about Huck as a narrator and voice of authority.  The comparison between Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer revealed how alike they are, but even more so how different they are.  I now see Huck as a more compelling narrator and more of a rebel than Tom Sawyer.  I feel that Clemens's use of Huck as a narrator was clever and adds to the work as a whole, however I find confusion within the role of narrator/author at the end of the story.

Lynch, Paul. "Not Trying to Talk Alike and Succeeding: The Authoritative Word and
                  Internally-Persuasive Word in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn."
                  Studies in the Novel 38.2 (2006): 172-186. MLA International
. EBSCO. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.

1 Comment

Yes, this is a good example of a peer-reviewed article. Good job, Stefanie.

The opening and closing of the book do emphasize Huck as narrator, though nothing in the middle does. Having read Huck Finn first, I remember being surprised at how different a book Tom Sawyer is -- how conventional it is. Most a anemic studies of this length are going to be complex, so I'm glad you stuck with this one.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by StefanieWiegand published on October 14, 2010 10:12 AM.

Going Beyond Understanding in EL266 Texts was the previous entry in this blog.

Clemens testing our knowledge about Shakespeare? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.