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Huckleberry Finn and On The Road

This paper will compare two famous literary works. The first work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was written by Mark Twain in 1884. The second book, On the Road, was written by Jack Kerouac between 1947 and 1950, although it was not published until 1957 (Charters xxi-xxii). The discussion will center on a particular theme which both books have in common. The theme which this paper will examine is that of personal freedom. The paper will show why personal freedom was important for the central characters in both novels.

In Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the author uses the character of Huckleberry Finn to narrate. In Jack Kerouac's On the Road, the author uses the fictional character of Sal Paradise to narrate Kerouac's account of two cross country trips which he made in the United States during the late 1940s. Both authors have created fictional characters behind which they are able to freely account for some of their own adventures and observations. However, Twain's narrator, Huck Finn, is less articulate and intelligent than the author himself, and sometimes Twain narrates through Huck's point of view, and at other times, Twain speaks through other characters. Twain's style of writing is thus that of a deadpan narrator, who tells of Huck's foibles without Huck being able to laugh at himself because he does not know that some of the things he does are funny (Bloom, p. 32). Many times Huck's remarks have a double edge: Huck is serious about what he is saying, and Twain is using Huck's character to show the underlying humor in the way Huck thinks about things. Also, like Kerouac's Sal, Huck is a magnificent observer: Huck notices the details of what everyone around him is doing.

One of the first things that becomes apparent about Huck's character is that he values his personal freedom more than he values money. In the book which preceded it, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Twain's central char...

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Huckleberry Finn and On The Road. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:36, May 30, 2020, from