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The Historical and
Cultural Context of

Adventures of
Huckleberry
Finn
by Mark Twain
Historical Context of
Huckleberry Finn
Set in pre­Civil War years 
40­50 years before 1885 publication 
Slavery ended, ...
Mark Twain underwent moral 
transformation…
 He believed slavery was wrong 
and white Americans owed 
black Americans re...
19
CENTURY
th

The Civil War
Industrial Revolution
Extreme contrasts
between rich and poor
Literary and Artistic Movements:
REALISM and REGIONALISM
1. Attack upon Romantics and 
Transcendentalists
 pragmatic, dem...
2. Drew subject matter from 
“our experience”
Focused on the common, 
the average, the probable
3. Character and Setting more 
important than Plot 
(Local Color Movement)
Focused on the norm of 
daily experience
Dial...
HUCKLEBERRY FINN is
a…

COMING­OF­AGE NOVEL: moral growth o
a comic character in an physically beautiful 
yet morally rep...
and a…
PICARESQUE NOVEL:  follows the 
adventures of a roguish hero
•  episodic: Mississippi River 
•  flight to freedom ...
19th century Americans are
self-conscious… 
They want to know what their 
new country looks like, and 
how the varied rac...
19 century
Firsts…
th

First mappings of the West
First transcontinental railroad
First Photography
Photography as a
social mirror…

The invention ignited an artistic and 
scientific frenzy…
Best portrait makers could br...
Massive social changes reflected in 
literature & photography. 
1861­65 ­ Mathew Brady, 
Alexander Gardner: honest 
phot...
“Something new happened in 
Huck Finn that had never 
happened in American 
literature before.  It was a 
book…that served...
…[It] allowed a different kind of 
writing to happen: a clean, crisp, no­
nonsense, earthly vernacular…it 
was a book that...
Comparing VIEWPOINTS OF SLAVERY in…
Huckleberry Finn
Photograph

•
#1
"Slave Boy
Brought to
Waterbury from
Bucks Hill by
Aunt Ella
Johnson's
Second
Husband
(Whelan)"
Ninth-plate
ambrotype,
...
#2

"Our Little
Pedlars"
Quarter-plate
ambrotype, circa
1855-1860
http://www.photo
graphymuseum.co
m/pedlarslg.html
The Am...
#3
W. Queen (Philadelphia),
Publisher or Retailer:
"The Darkey's Vanity"
Tinted Albumen Stereograph
circa 1860
http://www....
#4

Cumberland Landing, Virginia,
Group of "contrabands" at Foller's house, May 14, 1862
http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lesso...
#5
Unidentified Photographer:
Civil War Soldiers with a "Contraband"
Albumen carte de visite, circa 1863
http://www.photog...
#6
E. & H. T. Anthony & Co.
(New York), Publishers:
"Bombproof Quarters of
Maj. Strong, at Dutch Gap,
16th N. Y. Artillery...
Unidentified Photographer:
Ten Children
Cyanotype, circa 1898
http://www.photographymuseum.com/cyanokidslg.html
The Americ...
#8

Palmer (Tuskegee, Alabama)
Instructor & Three Graduates with Diplomas and Geraniums
Gelatine-Silver Print, circa 1905
...
Works Cited
The American Photography Museum, Inc. Virtual Exhibit: “The Face of Slavery and Other Early
Images of African ...
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  • H.G. PEABODY"A Cape Ann Fisherman"ca. 1890's, albumen print
  • Transcript of "Huck finnppt"

    1. 1. The Historical and Cultural Context of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    2. 2. Historical Context of Huckleberry Finn Set in pre­Civil War years  40­50 years before 1885 publication  Slavery ended, but racism still  rampant (Jim Crow Laws)
    3. 3. Mark Twain underwent moral  transformation…  He believed slavery was wrong  and white Americans owed  black Americans reparations
    4. 4. 19 CENTURY th The Civil War Industrial Revolution Extreme contrasts between rich and poor
    5. 5. Literary and Artistic Movements: REALISM and REGIONALISM 1. Attack upon Romantics and  Transcendentalists  pragmatic, democratic, and  experimental Responsibly moral – goal was to  report the world with HONESTY
    6. 6. 2. Drew subject matter from  “our experience” Focused on the common,  the average, the probable
    7. 7. 3. Character and Setting more  important than Plot  (Local Color Movement) Focused on the norm of  daily experience Dialect, geography,  regional manners
    8. 8. HUCKLEBERRY FINN is a… COMING­OF­AGE NOVEL: moral growth o a comic character in an physically beautiful  yet morally repugnant setting
    9. 9. and a… PICARESQUE NOVEL:  follows the  adventures of a roguish hero •  episodic: Mississippi River  •  flight to freedom vs. river flowing  toward Deep South (slave territory)
    10. 10. 19th century Americans are self-conscious…  They want to know what their  new country looks like, and  how the varied races of growing  population live and talk
    11. 11. 19 century Firsts… th First mappings of the West First transcontinental railroad First Photography
    12. 12. Photography as a social mirror… The invention ignited an artistic and  scientific frenzy… Best portrait makers could bring out  the very human essence of a  subject… The advantages of photography:  immediacy, reliable representation,  low cost, etc…
    13. 13. Massive social changes reflected in  literature & photography.  1861­65 ­ Mathew Brady,  Alexander Gardner: honest  photographic record of the Civil  War. Photography, like literary Realism  & Regionalism  showed TRUTH. 
    14. 14. “Something new happened in  Huck Finn that had never  happened in American  literature before.  It was a  book…that served as a  Declaration of Independence  from the genteel English  novel… 
    15. 15. …[It] allowed a different kind of  writing to happen: a clean, crisp, no­ nonsense, earthly vernacular…it  was a book that talked.  Huck’s  voice, combined with Twain’s satiric  genius, changed the shape of fiction  in America, and African­American  voices had a great deal to do with  making it what it was.”         ­ Dr. Shelley  Fishkin, 1995
    16. 16. Comparing VIEWPOINTS OF SLAVERY in… Huckleberry Finn Photograph •
    17. 17. #1 "Slave Boy Brought to Waterbury from Bucks Hill by Aunt Ella Johnson's Second Husband (Whelan)" Ninth-plate ambrotype, circa 1855 http://www.phot ographymuseum .com/slaveboylg .html The American Photography Museum, Inc.
    18. 18. #2 "Our Little Pedlars" Quarter-plate ambrotype, circa 1855-1860 http://www.photo graphymuseum.co m/pedlarslg.html The American Photography Museum, Inc.
    19. 19. #3 W. Queen (Philadelphia), Publisher or Retailer: "The Darkey's Vanity" Tinted Albumen Stereograph circa 1860 http://www.photographymus eum.com/vanitylg.html The American Photography Museum, Inc.
    20. 20. #4 Cumberland Landing, Virginia, Group of "contrabands" at Foller's house, May 14, 1862 http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/psources/slavpho2.html The American Photography Museum, Inc.
    21. 21. #5 Unidentified Photographer: Civil War Soldiers with a "Contraband" Albumen carte de visite, circa 1863 http://www.photographymuseum.com /contrabl.html The American Photography Museum, Inc.
    22. 22. #6 E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. (New York), Publishers: "Bombproof Quarters of Maj. Strong, at Dutch Gap, 16th N. Y. Artillery" Albumen Stereograph circa 1864 http://www.photographymuseum.com/majstrong.html The American Photography Museum, Inc.
    23. 23. Unidentified Photographer: Ten Children Cyanotype, circa 1898 http://www.photographymuseum.com/cyanokidslg.html The American Photography Museum, Inc. #7
    24. 24. #8 Palmer (Tuskegee, Alabama) Instructor & Three Graduates with Diplomas and Geraniums Gelatine-Silver Print, circa 1905 http://www.photographymuseum.com/tuskeglg.html The American Photography Museum, Inc.
    25. 25. Works Cited The American Photography Museum, Inc. Virtual Exhibit: “The Face of Slavery and Other Early Images of African Americans.” (2004). http://www.photography-museum.com/faceof.html Cross, J.M. . “Nineteenth-Century Photography: A Timeline.” The Victorian Web. (2001). http://www.victorianweb.org/photos/chron.html Reuben, Paul P. “Chapter 5: Late Nineteenth Century: American Realism - A Brief Introduction.” PAL: Perspectives in American Literature: A Research and Reference Guide - An Ongoing Project.(2003). http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap5/5intro.html Rubio, Juan Carlos. (Curator). “Portraits and Landscapes in Nineteenth Century Photography. Private Collections of Madrid.” Fundacion Telefonico. (2001). http://www.fundacion.telefonica.com/at/photoes/efotoxix.html
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