Worlds Apart (Mark Twain- Huckleberry Finn)

I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead. The stars were shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippoorwill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me, and I couldn’t make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me.

Chapter 1- `The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’

Reading Huckleberry Finn it soon becomes clear that Huck is somewhat indecisive when it comes to whether he wants to be ‘sivilized’ or be free and at one with nature. Huck understands the natural world and its rhythms. In this passage, while up in his bedroom, he hears the `voice’ of nature reaching out to him.  Twain uses literary tools to assist in capturing the spirit of nature in this passage (the leaves rustled, an owl who-whooing,).   The use of personification adds a precarious tone to the piece (leaves…ever so mournful, the wind trying to whisper something to me).  The natural world is an important element in the novel. Twain’s deep detail of the surroundings allows the reader to appreciate, to see and feel Huck’s world, as though we are there travelling alongside him.


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