SEMINAR PROFILE

H05 - 
"Headin' out fer the territory": Huckleberry Finn and American Freedom.
   
  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was infamous when it appeared, in 1885, not, as now, for the scandal of slavery and race hatred, but because it featured a juvenile delinquent as a hero--a runaway orphan, who is also a tramp, a smoker, impious, genially contemptuous of his elders and betters, and an unrepentant thief, insofar as he abets a runaway slave's escape. By 1935, in The Green Hills of Africa, Ernest Hemingway had this to say about the book: "All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since." Allowing for the hyperbole, this marks the beginning of the generally held conviction that Twain's story of Huck's companionship with the escaped slave Jim is our national epic. We will explore what that claim means, and why Huck's refusal to be good in the sense his world gave that term is now seen as a model of heroic American virtue, and of comic American wisdom
       
   
Scholar:
 
Location:
Online
   
Dates:
5/3/2021, 5/10/2021