Mark Twain was an accomplished English writer. In his novel, the adventures of Huckleberry Fin, Twain exploits the use of regionalism and realism. Realism was a style of writing in the post civil war era. Realism was used to depict the increasing shift of American culture in respect to industrialization, urbanization and the migration of people. Realism can be defined as the faithful representation of reality. It uses dialect, shows characters in complex and difficult situations as well as reveals the complex personalities in characters. Mark Twain uses dialect in speech, complex situations, and complex personalities to create authentic characters in the story.
The adventures of Huckleberry Finn were set out in 1835 along the river shores of Mississippi, U.S.A. This fictional story is about a young lad, Huck, who meets Jim, a black man and a slave of Widow Douglas’s sister. They become close friends and Huckleberry learns a lot from him. He eventually, helps him escape so that he can be with his family. In the end, Jim is finally free after the death of his mistress, Miss Douglas and Finn, when he finds out of his father’s death, moves west to the Indians.
The story sets stage in Mississippi; Mark Twain uses dialect very effectively throughout the story. In the story, Mark Twain uses the word “nigger” prevalently. Mark does not use the word nigger as a derogatory term but as the word, commonly used to refer to black people in the society. It was also written at a time, when slavery was still being practiced. For instance, in the story, when Aunt Sally enquires whether anybody was killed in the steamboat explosion, Huckleberry replies ‘‘No’m killed a nigger” (Twain 34). Aunt Sally responds that people do get hurt. Mark Twain uses this illustration to show, how the black people were treated in the society. In the story, it seems that back in the days black people were not classified as human beings.
Mark Twain also uses complex situations to create convincing characters in the story. For instance, Twain uses several situations in the story to bring out Finn’s true character. At the beginning of the story, Huckleberry runs away from his drunken father and goes to the company of a widow. During his stay with the widow and her cousin, he is acquainted with Jim, who is a slave. In these situations, Mark twain portrays Huckleberry as a loving, noble and trustworthy young man. At first, he has an ill perception about Jim but his attitude soon changes, when he learns about him. He quickly helps him escape from Miss Douglas and keeps this secret when they both live. Huckleberry risks being caught as the culprit when he dresses as a girl to protect his dear friend.
Mark Twain has also depicted realism by use of complex characters in the story. Finn comes out as character having multiple personalities. A trait that helps him maneuver and survive on the shore of Mississippi river. At the beginning, Finn comes out a 10 year old who is uncivilized but his intelligence and morality are consistent from the word go. For instance, as a typical 10 year old, Huckleberry admits to dislike school. He would often sneak out but towards the end, he says ‘‘The longer I went to school the easier it got to be (Twain 53)”. According to the story Huckleberry appears to be more intelligent than Tom, his good friend, who had read more books than he had. In view of the story, it is evident that the author has employed diverse characters to explore realism.