The Gothic in Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”


While overall Huck’s narrative seems to fit the genre of realism, there are numerous dreamlike scenes that take the reader out of reality and into a place a little apart from it. Some scenes that come to mind from the beginning include the scene on Jackson Island and the dead body on the riverboat. These scenes have dreamlike or perhaps nightmare-like qualities that add almost a Gothic suspense to the book. This Gothic suspense, however, doesn’t have to take away from the realism of the story. Given his life and his adult voice, it is very easy to forget that Huck is still a child. Thus, Huck tends to process things on a much more supernatural level than perhaps a rational adult would. Twain captures these nightmare-like experiences and portrays them in such a way that the reader understands them from Huck’s perspective.

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