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<title>Huckleberry Finn</title></titleStmt>

<publicationStmt><distributor>BASE and Oxford Text Archive</distributor>


<availability><p>The British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus was developed at the

Universities of Warwick and Reading, under the directorship of Hilary Nesi

(Centre for English Language Teacher Education, Warwick) and Paul Thompson

(Department of Applied Linguistics, Reading), with funding from BALEAP,

EURALEX, the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. The

original recordings are held at the Universities of Warwick and Reading, and

at the Oxford Text Archive and may be consulted by bona fide researchers

upon written application to any of the holding bodies.

The BASE corpus is freely available to researchers who agree to the

following conditions:</p>

<p>1. The recordings and transcriptions should not be modified in any


<p>2. The recordings and transcriptions should be used for research purposes

only; they should not be reproduced in teaching materials</p>

<p>3. The recordings and transcriptions should not be reproduced in full for

a wider audience/readership, although researchers are free to quote short

passages of text (up to 200 running words from any given speech event)</p>

<p>4. The corpus developers should be informed of all presentations or

publications arising from analysis of the corpus</p><p>

Researchers should acknowledge their use of the corpus using the following

form of words:

The recordings and transcriptions used in this study come from the British

Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus, which was developed at the

Universities of Warwick and Reading under the directorship of Hilary Nesi

(Warwick) and Paul Thompson (Reading). Corpus development was assisted by

funding from the Universities of Warwick and Reading, BALEAP, EURALEX, the

British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. </p></availability>




<recording dur="00:45:15" n="6427">


<respStmt><name>BASE team</name>



<langUsage><language id="en">English</language>



<person id="nf0057" role="main speaker" n="n" sex="f"><p>nf0057, main speaker, non-student, female</p></person>

<personGrp id="ss" role="audience" size="l"><p>ss, audience, large group </p></personGrp>

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<personGrp role="speakers" size="3"><p>number of speakers: 3</p></personGrp>





<item n="speechevent">Lecture</item>

<item n="acaddept">English</item>

<item n="acaddiv">ah</item>

<item n="partlevel">UG2</item>

<item n="module">Mark Twain</item>




<u who="nf0057"> to Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="3.1"/> i'm being recorded here so # <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> if i go <trunc>i</trunc> get into a terrible fit of coughing you'll know and just <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.2"/> anyway right <pause dur="0.8"/> okay <pause dur="0.6"/> when The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="0.2"/> was published <pause dur="0.2"/> in the mid-eighteen-eighties <pause dur="1.0"/> the first thing that happened was that it ran into a whole barrage of critical flak <pause dur="1.4"/> especially in the more <pause dur="0.2"/> culturally refined Eastern states <pause dur="0.4"/> the book was banned from numerous schools <pause dur="0.2"/> it was withdrawn from public libraries <pause dur="0.4"/> it was attacked <pause dur="0.2"/> in the establishment press <pause dur="0.7"/> and it was generally disapproved of <pause dur="1.0"/> now the reason for this hostility <pause dur="0.6"/> wasn't the actual plot <pause dur="0.2"/> of the novel <pause dur="0.9"/> by eighteen-eighty-five remember slavery had already been legally abolished for # over twenty years in the U-S <pause dur="0.4"/> the Emancipation Proclamation was eighteen-sixty-three <pause dur="0.6"/> so the story of a young boy <pause dur="0.2"/> helping an escaped slave wasn't in itself particularly <pause dur="0.3"/> controversial <pause dur="0.3"/> in fact contemporary readers would be more likely to approve <pause dur="0.3"/> of Huck's action than to <pause dur="0.2"/> throw up their hands in outrage <pause dur="0.7"/> so

the plot itself wasn't a problem <pause dur="1.3"/> what did offend the guardians of respectable culture though <pause dur="0.5"/> was that in just about every other respect Huck was such a thoroughly bad lot <pause dur="1.2"/> he has slovenly personal habits <pause dur="0.5"/> he lies he steals he's disrespectful of religion <pause dur="0.8"/> # he's scornful of respectability and he's an educational dropout to boot <pause dur="1.2"/> Louisa May Alcott <pause dur="0.7"/> who was the author of Little Women <pause dur="0.6"/> # friend and associate of Emerson and transcendentalist <pause dur="0.3"/> Louisa May Alcott was horrified by the book <pause dur="0.4"/> and if you've got the handout you'll see i've i've put # <pause dur="1.0"/> one of her particular <pause dur="0.6"/> objections <pause dur="0.3"/> <reading>if Mr Clemens cannot think of something better to tell our pure minded lads and lasses <pause dur="0.3"/> he had better stop writing for them</reading> <pause dur="1.3"/> notice the assumption incidentally that Mr Clemens I-E <pause dur="0.2"/> Mr Twain <pause dur="0.4"/> was actually writing for children <pause dur="0.7"/> this is a dangerous assumption <pause dur="0.3"/> and i'll have more to say about that in a minute <pause dur="1.3"/> meanwhile though we mustn't forget to add to the list of Huckleberry's sins <pause dur="0.5"/> the fact that he speaks and

writes such <pause dur="0.5"/> uneducated English <pause dur="1.2"/> his spelling is shaky <pause dur="0.2"/> his grammar is awful <pause dur="0.6"/> and his style his characteristic mode of expression is an offence to all traditional standards of literary decorum <pause dur="1.4"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> in what always strikes me as one of the glorious ironies of American literary history <pause dur="1.1"/> we find supposedly progressive <pause dur="0.6"/> institutions like the Public Library Committee of Concord Massachusetts that's the same Concord that's Thoreau's birthplace for instance <pause dur="0.7"/> the Library Committee decided to exclude Huckleberry Finn from their shelves <pause dur="0.4"/> believing it to be and i'm quoting <pause dur="0.6"/> <reading>more profitable for the slums than it is for respectable people</reading> <pause dur="0.7"/> you'll find the full text of the <pause dur="0.4"/> Library Committee's decision in the box on the back of the handout <pause dur="1.3"/> Mark Twain of course was delighted <pause dur="0.2"/> by the bad press <pause dur="0.7"/> he reckoned that every time Huckleberry Finn was criticized or banned it just increased public interest and it upped the sales of his book <pause dur="1.1"/> and certainly many of the press reports were as bad as

even he could have wished <pause dur="1.5"/> in addition to the Concord committee's description of Huckleberry Finn as <pause dur="0.4"/> rough <pause dur="0.3"/> coarse <pause dur="0.2"/> inelegant and irreverent <pause dur="0.6"/> other negative epithets thrown at the book by earlier reviewers include <pause dur="0.3"/> vulgar <pause dur="0.4"/> semi-obscene <pause dur="0.3"/> trashy <pause dur="0.4"/> and vicious <pause dur="1.1"/> so that's one view <pause dur="0.2"/> of the text <pause dur="1.7"/> and in case you think that such hostility <pause dur="0.5"/> is merely a dated phenomenon of the Victorian era <pause dur="0.5"/> it's worth noticing that even recently <pause dur="0.7"/> as recently as fifteen years <pause dur="0.2"/> ago in fact <pause dur="0.4"/> the censorship brigade has been back on the warpath <pause dur="1.2"/> this time the accusation is racism <pause dur="1.0"/> and there have been highly publicized calls <pause dur="0.3"/> for Huckleberry Finn to be banned from the school curriculum in the United States <pause dur="0.5"/> because of its endemically offensive use of the word nigger <pause dur="0.6"/> and because of its allegedly demeaning portrayal of black people <pause dur="2.6"/> now obviously the book's treatment of race is something which needs looking at in detail and i'll be coming back to that question <pause dur="0.2"/> in <pause dur="0.2"/> the second lecture next week <pause dur="0.7"/> but for the moment <pause dur="0.4"/>

just add the charge of racism <pause dur="0.3"/> to all the other reasons that people have found for condemning Huckleberry Finn and wanting to see it removed <pause dur="0.6"/> from circulation <pause dur="2.6"/> now then in contrast to those negative views <pause dur="0.2"/> there's another school of thought <pause dur="1.5"/> which in fact was probably sanctioned and perpetuated by even more <pause dur="0.5"/> libraries than banned the book in the first place <pause dur="0.4"/> and this is the view that <pause dur="0.2"/> holds <pause dur="0.2"/> that Huckleberry Finn belongs on the shelves of children's literature <pause dur="1.0"/> that it's first <pause dur="0.2"/> foremost <pause dur="0.2"/> finally an uncomplicated boys' book <pause dur="0.6"/> like its predecessor Tom Sawyer <pause dur="1.5"/> Mark Twain himself in typically misleading fashion <pause dur="0.2"/> seems to lend weight to this view <pause dur="0.6"/> you'll remember the prefatory note <pause dur="0.3"/> at the front of the novel <pause dur="0.5"/> where he says <pause dur="0.4"/> <reading>persons attempting to find a motive in the narrative will be prosecuted <pause dur="0.6"/> persons attempting to find a moral in it <pause dur="0.2"/> will be banished <pause dur="0.3"/> persons attempting to find a plot <pause dur="0.4"/> will be shot</reading> <pause dur="1.5"/> unfortunately quite a few critics have made the mistake of taking that

disclaimer at face value <pause dur="0.8"/> for example i had this # Puffin <pause dur="0.8"/><kinesic desc="holds up book" iterated="n"/> # paperback edition where Huckleberry Finn is printed alongside Tom Sawyer <pause dur="1.0"/> and the editor's introduction denounces <pause dur="0.3"/> all those literary bloodhounds who tried to sniff out improbably complicated meanings <pause dur="0.6"/> as far as he's concerned the two books Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn belong together as i quote <pause dur="0.6"/> the radiant memories of an unspoilt mind <pause dur="1.0"/> forget all about <pause dur="0.2"/> morals and motives <pause dur="0.2"/> says this kind of reader <pause dur="0.6"/> Huck is simply a delightful ragamuffin <pause dur="0.3"/> and his adventures are the thing <pause dur="0.6"/> after all look at the ingredients <pause dur="0.4"/> we have escapes uninhabited islands camping outdoors boat wrecks floods dead bodies buried treasure <pause dur="0.4"/> all the ingredients of a ripping yarn <pause dur="1.0"/> and no boring girls along to spoil the fun <pause dur="0.9"/> and no boring critics either it's implied should be <pause dur="0.5"/> allowed to spoil the fun <pause dur="1.4"/> so there you've got a second perspective on Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="0.5"/> the first one points to the novel's nastiness <pause dur="0.6"/> the second one makes it sound merely nice <pause dur="0.7"/> and in neither

case do we get much sense that <pause dur="0.7"/> the book has any real literary merit <pause dur="1.7"/> so let's redress the balance <pause dur="2.0"/> and to suggest some of the claim that the book does have on our attention <pause dur="0.5"/> let me quote the verdict of some other commentators <pause dur="0.2"/> first <pause dur="0.2"/> the critic Lionel Trilling <pause dur="1.0"/> <reading>Huckleberry Finn</reading> he says <pause dur="0.5"/> <reading>is one of the central documents of American culture</reading> <pause dur="1.6"/> in nineteen-eighty-six a century after its publication <pause dur="0.4"/> there was an article in the Washington Post <pause dur="0.4"/> which called Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="0.2"/> i quote <pause dur="0.5"/> <reading>the greatest work of art by an American <pause dur="0.4"/> the Sistine Chapel <pause dur="0.3"/> of our civilization</reading> <pause dur="1.3"/> Mark Twain as the American Michelangelo no less <pause dur="1.2"/> and i'm sure that you'll already have come across Ernest Hemingway's famous accolade <pause dur="0.5"/> where he says <pause dur="0.3"/> <reading>all modern American literature <pause dur="0.6"/> comes from one book by Mark Twain <pause dur="0.3"/> called Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="0.3"/> it's the best book we've had</reading> <pause dur="0.6"/> all American writing comes from that <pause dur="1.5"/> now these are fairly breathtaking claims <pause dur="0.7"/> but at least they suggest that there is more to this novel <pause dur="0.4"/> than either the

book-burners or the children's librarians have recognized <pause dur="0.9"/> so don't be lulled into a false sense of security <pause dur="0.2"/> by Twain's authorial pretence that there's nothing serious going on <pause dur="1.7"/> remember that Mark Twain is a pseudonym <pause dur="1.1"/> it's a constructed and very <pause dur="0.4"/> convenient device <pause dur="0.4"/> through which Samuel Langhorne Clemens <pause dur="0.3"/> promoted a public persona as <pause dur="0.2"/> humorist and popular entertainer <pause dur="1.2"/> but that <pause dur="0.8"/> ingenuous comic persona is a mask <pause dur="0.5"/> and it's adopted for a purpose <pause dur="1.0"/> and i reckon that you should always keep in mind the George Bernard Shaw comment that i've quoted on this sheet here <pause dur="0.9"/> # Mark Twain says Shaw <pause dur="0.5"/> <reading>has to put things in such a way as to make people who would otherwise hang him <pause dur="0.9"/> believe he is joking</reading> <pause dur="1.4"/> and there may be a more serious purpose going on beneath this apparently <pause dur="0.4"/> casual insubstantial text <pause dur="2.9"/> right <pause dur="0.2"/> # <pause dur="1.0"/> just a few details # <pause dur="0.4"/> career details which seem to me significant <pause dur="0.5"/> in the shaping of Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="1.2"/> the first book Clemens actually published under the pseudonym Mark Twain <pause dur="0.4"/> in

eighteen-sixty-nine <pause dur="0.6"/> was a sort of comic travelogue called Innocents Abroad <pause dur="1.0"/> three years later in seventy-two <pause dur="0.6"/> he published Roughing It <pause dur="0.7"/> which he'd originally thought of calling The Innocent At Home <pause dur="0.8"/> again this was a comic <pause dur="0.3"/> first person <pause dur="0.4"/> account of his travels # this time to the open <pause dur="0.2"/> spaces of the American West <pause dur="0.5"/> and the only reason i mention these books is that <pause dur="0.3"/> they show Twain already experimenting with the strategy of a deliberately naive <pause dur="0.3"/> narrator-protagonist <pause dur="1.1"/> he was obviously drawn to the idea of <pause dur="0.4"/> speaking through the persona <pause dur="0.7"/> of an innocent at large <pause dur="0.9"/> someone whose wide-eyed confrontation with the world could be developed as a source of both comedy <pause dur="0.3"/> and satire <pause dur="2.7"/> then came Tom Sawyer <trunc>ninetee</trunc> # eighteen-seventy-six <pause dur="1.1"/> now here Twain abandoned the first person format <pause dur="0.5"/> for a more traditional third person omniscient narrator <pause dur="1.1"/> but what's significant for our purposes is that <pause dur="0.7"/> here for the first time <pause dur="0.6"/> he turned from the contemporary scene back <pause dur="0.5"/> to <pause dur="0.6"/> the fictionalized world of his own

boyhood <pause dur="0.3"/> in the small riverbank town of Hannibal Missouri <pause dur="1.8"/> in Tom Sawyer in other words <pause dur="0.6"/> Twain opened up the imaginative arena <pause dur="0.5"/> where <pause dur="0.6"/> Huckleberry Finn is also set <pause dur="0.6"/> he also of course introduced Huck <pause dur="0.2"/> Huck is a character in Tom Sawyer as <pause dur="0.2"/> one of Tom's friends <pause dur="0.8"/> but significantly he's observed from the outside and <pause dur="0.4"/> well in any case the focus is on Tom <pause dur="1.8"/> having finished the novel <pause dur="0.7"/> Twain obviously felt there was more <pause dur="0.5"/> to be said <pause dur="0.2"/> about that childhood world of the old South <pause dur="0.3"/> enough for a kind of companion volume <pause dur="0.3"/> to Tom Sawyer <pause dur="1.0"/> but <pause dur="0.8"/> perhaps with a different perspective <pause dur="0.3"/> perhaps it needed <pause dur="0.3"/> that innocent at large <pause dur="0.3"/> to see the world <pause dur="1.4"/> so spurred on by the popular success of Tom Sawyer Twain immediately set to work <pause dur="0.9"/> on what seems to have been conceived initially as an unproblematic <pause dur="0.2"/> sequel <pause dur="1.1"/>

he wrote to his friend William Dean Howells <pause dur="0.3"/> that he'd begun another boys' book <pause dur="0.4"/> which he describes as Huckleberry Finn's autobiography <pause dur="1.8"/> but then the trouble started <pause dur="1.1"/> having launched Huck and Jim off downriver <pause dur="0.7"/> on the raft <pause dur="1.9"/> suddenly the narrative seemed to hit a snag <pause dur="0.2"/> stall <pause dur="0.2"/> midstream <pause dur="0.6"/> and Twain found that he simply <pause dur="0.2"/> couldn't write any more <pause dur="1.3"/> at one point in fact he was so frustrated that he spoke of possibly burning the manuscript <pause dur="0.2"/> just gave up on it <pause dur="2.6"/> fortunately he didn't burn it he simply shelved the work for several years he returned to it briefly in eighteen-seventy-nine gave up again it still wasn't moving <pause dur="0.4"/> got on with other things <pause dur="0.8"/> what eventually seems to have produced the breakthrough <pause dur="0.5"/> was a trip to the South in eighteen-eighty-two <pause dur="0.9"/> this was the first time that Twain had <pause dur="0.4"/> been back on home ground he himself was a Southerner from Missouri <pause dur="0.4"/> it's the first time he'd been back to

the South <pause dur="0.3"/> in over twenty years <pause dur="0.6"/> and when he returned from that trip <pause dur="0.6"/> the languishing manuscript of Huckleberry Finn was revived <pause dur="0.6"/> everything seemed suddenly to fall into place <pause dur="0.4"/> and after more than seven years in the making <pause dur="0.2"/> the novel was finished <pause dur="0.4"/> eighteen-eighty-three and went to press <pause dur="0.3"/> in eighty-four <pause dur="2.2"/> now then let's backtrack <pause dur="2.3"/> it used to be thought <pause dur="0.8"/> that the snag i mentioned the the sticking point at which the novel almost got <pause dur="0.6"/> # abandoned or destroyed <pause dur="0.7"/> used to be thought that that snag was <pause dur="0.3"/> # the end of chapter sixteen <pause dur="1.3"/> now if this had been so it would have been wonderfully appropriate <pause dur="0.5"/> because chapter sixteen you remember is the one where <pause dur="0.6"/> # Huck and Jim's downstream journey is brought to a catastrophic violent end <pause dur="0.2"/> when the raft <pause dur="0.2"/> collides with the upriver steamboat <pause dur="0.9"/> so that would have been a lovely place to say <pause dur="0.2"/> cut the story has come to a dead halt <pause dur="0.8"/> in fact <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> recently a manuscript was discovered which shows that the break in composition came just a bit later <pause dur="0.5"/> Twain

stopped writing <pause dur="0.2"/> halfway through chapter eighteen rather than immediately <pause dur="0.2"/> after the steamboat collision <pause dur="0.9"/> still as the critic Shelley <pause dur="0.3"/> Fishkin says <pause dur="0.8"/> the fact remains <pause dur="0.2"/> in the summer of eighteen-seventy-six <pause dur="0.6"/> Mark Twain smashed the raft that was to have carried Huck and Jim out of slave territory and into freedom <pause dur="0.6"/> and he did not return to the manuscript for several years <pause dur="0.9"/> so clearly <pause dur="0.3"/> there was some kind of narrative crisis <pause dur="0.2"/> at this juncture of the novel <pause dur="0.8"/> and we need to ask why <pause dur="1.3"/> why did Twain feel he couldn't continue writing <pause dur="0.4"/> what are the implications of that steamboat collision <pause dur="0.2"/> what kind of turning point <pause dur="0.4"/> does it represent <pause dur="3.6"/> i'm not sure i can answer those questions definitively <pause dur="1.0"/> since critical <pause dur="0.2"/> opinion on the subject is notoriously divided <pause dur="0.8"/> but i've got a few suggestions at any rate <pause dur="0.8"/> that may give you something to mull over <pause dur="2.6"/> one way of looking at the steamboat collision <pause dur="0.9"/> is to see it as a symbol of modern technology <pause dur="1.1"/> destroying a pastoral way of life <pause dur="1.4"/> there's an excellent book

by Leo Marx i've mentioned this point three on the the lecture notes <pause dur="0.4"/> Leo Marx's book The Machine in the Garden <pause dur="1.2"/> which argues that this theme the idea of the impact of industrialization <pause dur="0.4"/> on a traditionally rural society the machine <pause dur="0.2"/> invading the garden <pause dur="0.5"/> he argues that this has generated some of the most compelling themes <pause dur="0.3"/> in American literature <pause dur="0.5"/> you might remember in <pause dur="0.3"/> Thoreau for instance <pause dur="0.4"/> how the peace of Walden Pond is is shattered by the reverberations from the Fitchburg railroad <pause dur="1.4"/> anyway in Mark Twain's version of this theme <pause dur="0.7"/> we have Huck and Jim drifting <pause dur="0.7"/> peacefully downriver <pause dur="0.8"/> in harmony with the flow of nature <pause dur="1.5"/> only to have their pastoral idyll smashed to pieces by the steamer pounding upstream against the current <pause dur="0.2"/> the unnatural machine if you like <pause dur="0.3"/> destroying <pause dur="0.5"/> the natural idyll of the raft <pause dur="1.6"/> so at a symbolic level <pause dur="0.2"/> Twain may be expressing his sense that the pace of change the mechanisation of society <pause dur="0.8"/> was already well on its way to <pause dur="0.9"/> destroying or obliterating <pause dur="0.2"/> America's <pause dur="0.4"/>

pastoral dream of a more <pause dur="0.9"/> natural simple existence <pause dur="1.7"/> however to get the full force of this pivotal moment i've just lost my <pause dur="2.7"/><event desc="sorts through notes" iterated="y" dur="3"/> notes there we are <pause dur="0.5"/> yes we're still on this sheet <pause dur="1.0"/> to get the full force of this # <pause dur="1.3"/> we need a bit of historical context <pause dur="0.2"/> i'm sure you know this already <pause dur="0.2"/> right <pause dur="0.2"/> but anyway let's just remind ourselves <pause dur="0.4"/> Huck Finn went to press in eighteen-eighty-four <pause dur="0.4"/> but we're told that the scene of the novel <pause dur="0.2"/> is the Mississippi valley <pause dur="0.7"/> some forty to fifty years ago <pause dur="0.9"/> in other words the novel is set <pause dur="0.6"/> roughly around the late eighteen-thirties <pause dur="1.3"/> there's a huge significance in these dates or <pause dur="0.4"/> in what happened between <pause dur="0.2"/> those dates between <pause dur="0.2"/> the date of the novel's imagined action <pause dur="0.7"/> and the date of its actual composition <pause dur="0.8"/> and what happened of course was the American Civil War <pause dur="0.5"/> eighteen-sixty-one to sixty-five <pause dur="2.0"/> now even if you know next to nothing about <pause dur="0.3"/> American history <pause dur="0.2"/> you must be aware that the Civil War was <pause dur="0.6"/> cataclysmic <pause dur="0.7"/> in the national consciousness <pause dur="1.8"/> quite apart from the appalling <pause dur="0.3"/> loss of life <pause dur="0.7"/>

a bitter division of loyalties <pause dur="0.6"/> the spectre of disunion <pause dur="0.2"/> the devastation of the South <pause dur="1.6"/> and everything else <pause dur="0.8"/> the war also seemed metaphorically speaking <pause dur="0.5"/> to bring <pause dur="1.3"/> one phase of American history to an end <pause dur="1.4"/> the urban <pause dur="0.2"/> mechanized technologically superior north <pause dur="0.5"/> had ruled <pause dur="0.3"/> ruled its juggernaut <pause dur="0.3"/> over the South <pause dur="0.7"/> and the largely agrarian economy of the Confederate States <pause dur="0.5"/> the machine had invaded the garden <pause dur="0.3"/> with a vengeance <pause dur="0.4"/> and the modern citified industrial age was # <pause dur="0.7"/> upon us <pause dur="0.8"/> and this was a psychic watershed <pause dur="1.0"/> which Henry James i think has defined as well as anyone and i've produced this quotation on the sheets 'cause i think it's important <pause dur="1.4"/> Henry James says <pause dur="0.7"/> <reading>the Civil War marks an era <pause dur="0.2"/> in the history of the American mind <pause dur="0.9"/> it introduced into the national consciousness <pause dur="0.5"/> a certain sense of the world being a more complicated place <pause dur="0.2"/> than it had hitherto seemed <pause dur="0.9"/> the good American <pause dur="0.2"/> in days to come <pause dur="0.5"/> will be a more critical person <pause dur="0.4"/> than his complacent and confident grandfather <pause dur="1.8"/> he has eaten of the

tree of knowledge</reading> <pause dur="1.9"/> he has eaten of the tree of knowledge <pause dur="0.9"/> think that phrase should have started some bells ringing for you <pause dur="1.3"/> because inevitably we're back to that familiar theme in the American imagination we've traced since the start the idea the myth if you like of the American Adam <pause dur="3.0"/> if you follow through on the implications of the James quotation <pause dur="0.4"/> you see that the antebellum period <pause dur="0.3"/> pre-war period <pause dur="0.5"/> is being tacitly imaged as a sort of <pause dur="0.7"/> Garden of Eden <pause dur="1.6"/> it's as if the Civil War like Adam's transgression in the garden <pause dur="0.5"/> has effectively put an end to American innocence <pause dur="0.8"/> and set the American people adrift in a fallen world <pause dur="5.4"/> now it's true that Mark Twain was <pause dur="0.3"/> born and grew up before the Civil War <pause dur="1.0"/> however he wrote all his fiction <pause dur="0.4"/> after <pause dur="0.3"/> the Civil War <pause dur="0.9"/> so he may yearn <pause dur="0.2"/> for the <pause dur="0.3"/> simple certainties of his childhood <pause dur="0.5"/> before he and his countrymen <pause dur="0.5"/> had their illusions <pause dur="0.2"/> shattered <pause dur="0.7"/> he may well be tempted as many people were <pause dur="0.7"/> to invest that vanished <pause dur="0.2"/> antebellum world with a a mythic glow of paradisal

innocence <pause dur="1.0"/> but like Henry James' good American <pause dur="0.8"/> Twain too had eaten of the tree of knowledge <pause dur="1.2"/> and it seems to me that as Huckleberry Finn took shape <pause dur="0.4"/> Twain found it less and less possible to blinker out <pause dur="0.4"/> the facts of change <pause dur="1.0"/> so you have <pause dur="0.9"/> a nostalgia for the past <pause dur="1.4"/> becoming informed by a sharper historical sense and a more <pause dur="0.6"/> critical and complex realism <pause dur="0.7"/> as he recognizes that that world of the past has gone <pause dur="1.6"/> so let's go back to the crux of chapter sixteen <pause dur="1.1"/> Huck and Jim <pause dur="0.4"/> like <pause dur="0.4"/> Thoreau for instance before them <pause dur="1.1"/> Huck and Jim have turned their back <pause dur="0.2"/> on the corrupt <pause dur="0.2"/> artificial values of so-called civilization <pause dur="0.5"/> and they've attempted to escape to a freer <pause dur="0.8"/> more authentic life in harmony with nature <pause dur="1.3"/> and for a while <pause dur="0.6"/> the life that they create for themselves on the raft <pause dur="0.7"/> seems as though it could go on forever <pause dur="1.7"/> seems like a sort of timeless <pause dur="0.7"/> idyll <pause dur="1.7"/> but however much <pause dur="0.2"/> Twain yearned to stop the clock <pause dur="0.8"/> he was also aware going back to that James quotation <pause dur="0.6"/> that the world was a more complicated place than it

had hitherto seemed <pause dur="1.2"/> Twain knew that the illusion of innocence <pause dur="0.2"/> childhood idyll <pause dur="0.3"/> American dream of pastoral retreat <pause dur="0.4"/> a fresh start in nature <pause dur="1.0"/> he knew that <pause dur="0.2"/> all of these were vulnerable to the logic of history <pause dur="1.1"/> Huck and Jim <pause dur="0.3"/> cannot live in a time warp <pause dur="0.3"/> they cannot make a separate peace <pause dur="0.4"/> and pretend <pause dur="0.3"/> that they can cut themselves off from the world around <pause dur="1.1"/> the raft therefore has to be destroyed <pause dur="0.2"/> they have to engage <pause dur="0.8"/> with the real world <pause dur="1.7"/> but what then <pause dur="0.2"/> where could they go next <pause dur="1.4"/> now it seems to me that Twain's <pause dur="0.9"/> critical intelligence <pause dur="0.4"/> recognized the world as it was as it had become <pause dur="1.0"/> but part of him emotionally <pause dur="0.5"/> was still tied to this nostalgic vision <pause dur="0.3"/> of the world as he <pause dur="0.8"/> in part remembered it to have been <pause dur="0.4"/> so he's at an impasse <pause dur="0.7"/> with his commitment to realism <pause dur="0.8"/> denying him the <pause dur="0.3"/> romantic release of the story he wanted to write <pause dur="0.9"/> so maybe that's why <pause dur="0.2"/> he couldn't <pause dur="1.2"/> continue with the story maybe that's why it comes to that grinding halt <pause dur="1.4"/> it's one theory anyway <pause dur="1.7"/> however <pause dur="0.4"/> we're on

firmer ground if we <pause dur="0.8"/> move on to the question of whether in fact <pause dur="1.4"/> and if so how <pause dur="0.6"/> the novel <pause dur="0.4"/> changes <pause dur="0.3"/> after <pause dur="0.5"/> that break <pause dur="0.4"/> after the steamboat crash <pause dur="0.2"/> did Huckleberry Finn in fact <pause dur="0.3"/> alter <pause dur="0.2"/> in direction in emphasis <pause dur="0.3"/> when Twain returned to the manuscript in eighteen-eighty-three <pause dur="1.3"/> so let's examine some of the textual evidence for that <pause dur="2.9"/> maybe the first thing we notice <pause dur="0.3"/> from chapter sixteen onwards <pause dur="0.6"/> is that Jim's role <pause dur="0.2"/><vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> excuse me Jim's role in the narrative is <pause dur="0.2"/> considerably diminished <pause dur="0.8"/> he's actually absent from the story <pause dur="0.4"/> for a couple of chapters <pause dur="0.4"/> when Huck is staying with the Grangerford family <pause dur="0.7"/> and in many later scenes he's merely assumed <pause dur="0.8"/> if we remember him at all <pause dur="0.6"/> assumed to be waiting patiently somewhere in the wings <pause dur="1.2"/> so what this suggests is that Twain's narrative attention <pause dur="1.1"/> may have <pause dur="1.3"/> shifted <pause dur="0.6"/> from the the thematic <pause dur="0.5"/> line of Jim's bid for freedom <pause dur="0.7"/> to a satirical attack <pause dur="0.2"/> on various aspects of Southern society <pause dur="0.9"/> that the

main point of the story may have shifted sideways from Jim <pause dur="1.2"/> to white Southern society <pause dur="1.6"/> in confirmation of this we find that <pause dur="0.3"/> in the second part of the novel or after chapter sixteen <pause dur="0.4"/> far more time is spent <pause dur="1.0"/> far more of the action now takes place <pause dur="0.3"/> on shore <pause dur="2.0"/> and it's noticeable too <pause dur="0.5"/> that the quality of the action changes <pause dur="1.0"/> violence <pause dur="0.2"/> fraud <pause dur="0.8"/> cruelty <pause dur="0.3"/> cheating <pause dur="0.2"/> attempted lynching murder <pause dur="1.7"/> had a wonderful # sentence in a finals examination paper a couple of years back <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> where a student wrote <pause dur="1.1"/> i took notes on the exam paper <pause dur="1.1"/> a student wrote <reading>it is possible to count approximately thirteen corpses between Saint Petersburg and Pikesville <pause dur="0.3"/> and none of the corpses died a meaningful or purposeful death</reading> <pause dur="1.3"/> i haven't counted the corpses but i'll take her word for it <pause dur="0.9"/> anyway <pause dur="0.5"/> what we find is that the indictment of shore society <pause dur="0.8"/> becomes increasingly <pause dur="0.2"/> # savage <pause dur="0.9"/> # with a bitterness of vision that <pause dur="0.5"/> # is quite different from the perspective of the early chapters <pause dur="1.4"/> now <pause dur="0.4"/> of

course the raft is <pause dur="1.0"/> patched up <pause dur="1.2"/> and the journey is resumed after the Grangerford episode <pause dur="1.0"/> but the idyll <pause dur="0.4"/> can't be restored <pause dur="0.7"/> Jim says that he's managed to stick the raft together almost as good as new <pause dur="0.8"/> but the fact is that neither <pause dur="0.2"/> the raft nor the dream it embodied <pause dur="0.3"/> can ever be whole again <pause dur="1.3"/> previously <pause dur="0.4"/> the raft had been a sanctuary from the shore <pause dur="0.5"/> a haven of sanity and right values <pause dur="0.5"/> compared with the corruption of society <pause dur="1.1"/> but now <pause dur="0.5"/> in the second half of the book <pause dur="0.7"/> that polarity <pause dur="0.6"/> seems to break down <pause dur="2.7"/> in fact the con men <pause dur="0.4"/> society in the shape of the con men the Duke and the King <pause dur="0.3"/> actually invades the raft <pause dur="1.0"/> not only that but the con men bring with them and impose onto the raft <pause dur="0.3"/> precisely the cultural baggage <pause dur="0.4"/> of shore life <pause dur="0.3"/> that Huck and Jim had been trying to escape from in the first place <pause dur="1.7"/> when it was just the two of them <pause dur="0.6"/> alone on # the raft in nature <pause dur="1.4"/> the gulf between the races seemed to be <pause dur="0.5"/> closing <pause dur="0.6"/> an ideal of equality and brotherhood <pause dur="0.3"/> seemed to be attainable <pause dur="0.6"/> but as soon as the Duke and

the King come back on board <pause dur="0.5"/> with their fake titles and their jockeying for position <pause dur="0.7"/> the concept of social hierarchy <pause dur="0.3"/> again imposes itself <pause dur="1.0"/> and ominously as soon as social hierarchy imposes itself <pause dur="0.9"/> where does Jim find himself <pause dur="0.5"/> right at the bottom <pause dur="0.5"/> finds himself having to <pause dur="0.2"/> revert to the role of slave <pause dur="1.8"/> so <pause dur="1.5"/> i think there is substantial evidence that Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="0.2"/> does change <pause dur="0.2"/> in terms of tone <pause dur="0.6"/> emphasis <pause dur="0.2"/> atmosphere <pause dur="1.1"/> perhaps even in terms of Twain's own purposes <pause dur="0.7"/> after the crux of chapter sixteen <pause dur="3.1"/> this does not mean however <pause dur="0.3"/> that i think the novel is broken-backed or lacking in continuity <pause dur="0.9"/> or overall design <pause dur="1.1"/> on the contrary <pause dur="0.6"/> i'd argue that as the tone darkens <pause dur="0.4"/> as the satire intensifies after the steamboat collision <pause dur="0.8"/> what Twain does is echo <pause dur="0.3"/> rework <pause dur="0.3"/> or extrapolate <pause dur="0.5"/> from the material of the earlier chapters <pause dur="0.5"/> so as to expose the meanings which were latent there from the start <pause dur="1.0"/> now there are lots of examples of how this works <pause dur="0.6"/> but i've picked out one which i think is a particularly good one <pause dur="1.0"/> and

it's <pause dur="0.7"/> the way the Shepherdson-Grangerford feud <pause dur="0.7"/> seems to expose <pause dur="0.3"/> the underlying implications of Tom Sawyer's <pause dur="0.9"/> early games at the start of the book where Tom's messing around with his robber gang <pause dur="1.3"/> now you'll remember in those early chapters <pause dur="0.5"/> Tom and his friends are <pause dur="0.3"/> only playing <pause dur="1.1"/> they're just school kids <pause dur="0.4"/> hyped up with the clichés of adventure romantic fiction <pause dur="1.2"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> we might think that the fantasies of gore and violence are pretty lurid <pause dur="0.5"/> but we're probably inclined just to put that down to the <pause dur="0.3"/> amusing excesses of a childish imagination <pause dur="0.8"/> we'd probably laugh at Tom <pause dur="0.8"/> when rather than <pause dur="0.2"/> admit the mundane reality in front of him which is simply a dull Sunday school picnic <pause dur="0.6"/> # he glamorizes into that romantic scenario of camels and elephants and Arabs <pause dur="0.7"/> so <pause dur="0.2"/> you know we laugh at Tom Sawyer's games <pause dur="1.7"/> but the laughing stops surely <pause dur="0.8"/> when we see precisely the same syndrome at work <pause dur="0.3"/> in the Shepherdson and Grangerford clans <pause dur="1.5"/> think about this <pause dur="0.4"/> rather than <pause dur="0.7"/> recognize and admit <pause dur="0.7"/> to the facts in front of them <pause dur="0.4"/>

which are <pause dur="0.7"/> the facts of the stupid brutality of meaningless murder <pause dur="1.3"/> rather than admit that <pause dur="0.5"/> they too dress up their activity as a romance <pause dur="0.2"/> this time with the high-flown rhetoric of feud <pause dur="0.4"/> family honour <pause dur="0.2"/> inherited codes of duty nobody knows what this feud is about nobody gives a damn what this feud is about but they all know they've got to kill each other because that's what the books say that's what tradition says <pause dur="1.1"/> okay <pause dur="1.0"/> now <pause dur="0.7"/> it's as if Mark Twain had decided to show the full-grown poison tree <pause dur="0.5"/> that springs from the seeds of corruption in Tom Sawyer's world <pause dur="0.6"/> if you take <pause dur="0.4"/> Tom Sawyer's <pause dur="0.2"/> romanticized <trunc>fa</trunc> fantasies of violence <pause dur="0.3"/> if you take that childish imagination <pause dur="0.7"/> saturated with the stylized posturing <pause dur="0.5"/> of romantic <pause dur="0.5"/> # tradition and heroism <pause dur="0.5"/> if you then translate that into the adult arena <pause dur="1.1"/> you get real killing <pause dur="0.4"/> real death <pause dur="2.2"/> now in a sense this is the <pause dur="1.6"/> folly the tragedy <pause dur="0.8"/> of the American South as a whole <pause dur="1.4"/> Twain was deeply critical <pause dur="0.4"/> of the antebellum South <pause dur="0.6"/> for its romantic self-image as a

land of <pause dur="0.4"/> gallant hot-blooded heroes high chivalric gesture <pause dur="1.5"/> he believed that Southerners had become so crippled <pause dur="0.5"/> by what he called the Sir Walter disease <pause dur="0.7"/> that is they'd become so infatuated with the <pause dur="0.4"/> mythic world of historical romance created by novelists like Sir Walter Scott <pause dur="1.8"/> that they'd actually lost touch with reality <pause dur="2.4"/> instead of <pause dur="0.4"/> sober self-knowledge <pause dur="0.6"/> Twain said <pause dur="0.3"/> Southerners had deluded themselves with i quote <pause dur="0.3"/> sham grandeurs sham gauds sham chivalries <pause dur="1.0"/> and it was this as much as anything <pause dur="0.3"/> Twain thought <pause dur="0.4"/> which had allowed the evils of Southern society to go unchecked <pause dur="1.6"/> actually Twain thought that Sir Walter Scott <pause dur="0.2"/> was responsible for the Civil War but that's <pause dur="0.6"/> slightly <pause dur="0.4"/> # uncharacteristic historical analysis <pause dur="0.4"/> you might notice just in passing <pause dur="0.8"/> another episode where the steamboat goes <trunc>a</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> aground on the rocks and is breaking up <pause dur="1.2"/> and don't blink or you'll miss it <pause dur="0.8"/> but the name of that steamboat is the Sir Walter Scott <pause dur="1.4"/> and the fact that it goes down <pause dur="0.5"/> on a sandbank <pause dur="0.3"/>

with a bunch of murderers on board may be a fair indication of what <pause dur="0.6"/> Twain thought <pause dur="0.2"/> should happen to Southern romanticism <pause dur="2.0"/> anyway <pause dur="0.8"/> this kind of extrapolations cross-reference the symbolic linking <pause dur="0.3"/> between early and later episodes <pause dur="0.7"/> seems to me <pause dur="0.5"/> a crucial aspect of the novel's <pause dur="0.2"/> design <pause dur="1.2"/> and i am stressing the idea of design and form <pause dur="1.3"/> because Huckleberry Finn is <pause dur="0.2"/> sometimes assumed not to have any <pause dur="1.3"/> the basic structure of Huckleberry Finn is of course picaresque <pause dur="0.8"/> oh i <pause dur="0.2"/> don't need to write that on the board i've written it on your <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="3.4"/> things yes <pause dur="0.5"/> five second dash loose picaresque form <pause dur="0.4"/> picaresque <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> picaresque novels characteristically are are <pause dur="0.4"/> these loose shambling affairs <pause dur="0.3"/> with <pause dur="0.3"/> separate episodic adventures strung together by virtue of the of the hero's presence <pause dur="0.4"/> and <pause dur="0.3"/> Huckleberry Finn appears to <pause dur="0.2"/> follow that so people have sometimes assumed it's not a very <pause dur="0.6"/> artistically designed novel <pause dur="1.1"/> i want to argue though <pause dur="0.4"/> that there is in fact a much firmer <pause dur="0.4"/> more cohesive <pause dur="0.2"/> formal organization at work <pause dur="1.9"/> firstly

as i've just been suggesting <pause dur="0.2"/> # there is this # <pause dur="0.8"/> way that connections are made between one part of the journey and another <pause dur="0.4"/> they're established through <pause dur="0.3"/> prolepsis <pause dur="0.7"/> and echo prolepsis <pause dur="0.2"/> a kind of foreshadowing <pause dur="0.6"/> a figure of anticipation <pause dur="0.6"/> so you have this proleptic link <pause dur="0.6"/> between <pause dur="0.4"/> Tom Sawyer's games <pause dur="0.6"/> and the Grangerford killings <pause dur="0.3"/> okay <pause dur="0.3"/> so there's those kinds of connections <pause dur="0.7"/> but equally or perhaps even more important <pause dur="1.2"/> the novel's coherence and continuity come from the constant presence of the river <pause dur="0.2"/> the river itself <pause dur="1.6"/> from the time that Huck escapes his father in chapter seven <pause dur="0.6"/> to the time he lands up at the Phelps' farm <pause dur="0.4"/> in chapter thirty-one <pause dur="0.8"/> the entire narrative action <pause dur="0.5"/> is based on back and forth movement <pause dur="0.3"/> between shore <pause dur="0.2"/> and river <pause dur="1.1"/> between civilization <pause dur="0.2"/> and nature <pause dur="0.2"/> if you like <pause dur="1.1"/> and the tension <pause dur="0.5"/> between those two <pause dur="0.5"/> gives rise to the structuring polarities <pause dur="0.2"/> that underpin the whole novel <pause dur="2.1"/> now i've i've given <pause dur="0.5"/> some examples on the sheet of what i mean by <pause dur="0.4"/> these structuring <pause dur="0.2"/> polarities <pause dur="1.1"/> shore versus

river <pause dur="0.9"/> civilization versus nature you can call it <pause dur="0.5"/> what you like <pause dur="0.6"/> but what we see is that that basic structural contrast <pause dur="1.1"/> generates a whole series of other oppositions <pause dur="0.2"/> in the novel <pause dur="1.4"/> as an obvious example <pause dur="1.2"/> the shore <pause dur="0.9"/> is associated with captivity <pause dur="1.0"/> it's where Jim has been a slave <pause dur="1.0"/><vocal desc="cough" iterated="n"/> and it's where Huck has been <pause dur="0.3"/> first of all cramped up by the widow Douglas and secondly <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> abused and locked in by his drunken father <pause dur="0.6"/> so the shore is associated with captivity <pause dur="1.1"/> and <trunc>tha</trunc> against this the river <pause dur="0.9"/> for both runaways is associated with freedom <pause dur="0.8"/> although it is worth noticing that <pause dur="0.5"/> freedom means slightly different things to Huck and Jim <pause dur="0.8"/> however <pause dur="0.4"/> another contrast here <pause dur="0.7"/> the shore is identified with <pause dur="0.6"/> artifice <pause dur="0.4"/> insincerity <pause dur="0.8"/> style <pause dur="1.1"/> watch out for that word style in the novel by the way <pause dur="0.4"/> it's a term that develops extremely negative connotations it's almost always associated with Tom Sawyer <pause dur="0.3"/> who throws a bit of style into everything <pause dur="1.4"/> okay the shore is associated with <pause dur="0.8"/> style artifice <pause dur="0.9"/> whereas <pause dur="1.8"/> the river is <pause dur="0.5"/> associated with the alternative values of <pause dur="0.8"/> simplicity <pause dur="0.3"/> naturalness <pause dur="0.8"/> authenticity <pause dur="0.5"/> truth telling <pause dur="3.2"/>

and there's one more <pause dur="0.3"/> polarity <pause dur="0.5"/> which <pause dur="1.3"/> you need to register <pause dur="0.4"/> it's crucial because it lies at the very heart of Huck's <pause dur="0.5"/> moral dilemma <pause dur="1.1"/> and this is the opposition between <pause dur="0.2"/> conscience <pause dur="0.5"/> and heart <pause dur="1.8"/> now at first sight it may seem a bit strange to put conscience in my left hand column here <pause dur="1.7"/> for people like Thoreau <pause dur="0.6"/> remember <pause dur="0.3"/> conscience <pause dur="0.6"/> was the authentic <pause dur="0.9"/> inner voice of natural morality <pause dur="1.0"/> Thoreau would obey his own conscience <pause dur="0.7"/> at all costs even against the dictates of society or <pause dur="0.3"/> even go to gaol <pause dur="0.2"/> for his conscience sake <pause dur="0.8"/> so you might think that conscience ought to be associated with <pause dur="0.3"/> the river <pause dur="0.5"/> you know the natural values of the river rather than the shore <pause dur="0.5"/> but that's not how Mark Twain is using the term <pause dur="0.8"/> for Mark Twain <pause dur="0.5"/> conscience <pause dur="0.5"/> is the repository and the spokesman for society's values <pause dur="0.8"/> it's like the sort of <pause dur="0.2"/> the Freudian superego <pause dur="0.6"/> conscience is the <pause dur="0.3"/> socialized <pause dur="0.4"/> authoritarian voice which tells Huck <pause dur="0.4"/> what's right

and moral in the eyes of the majority <pause dur="0.8"/> so all those lessons that he's learned from Sunday School from Widow Douglas from <pause dur="0.2"/> absorbing the racism of his community <pause dur="1.4"/> so it's what society tells him is moral <pause dur="0.5"/> is his conscience <pause dur="1.3"/> the heart <pause dur="0.2"/> by contrast is what speaks for the innate values of the individual <pause dur="2.2"/> so in Mark Twain's own words <pause dur="0.2"/> Huckleberry Finn is i quote <pause dur="0.3"/> <reading>a book of mine where a sound heart <pause dur="0.4"/> and a deformed conscience <pause dur="0.3"/> come into collision</reading> <pause dur="2.1"/> and basically it's the developing interplay between those two between Huck's <pause dur="0.2"/> natural individual <pause dur="0.4"/> heart based values <pause dur="0.6"/> and the corrupted values that he's absorbed from society <pause dur="0.2"/> individual versus society <pause dur="1.7"/> that provides the novel's thematic coherence <pause dur="3.6"/> right <pause dur="0.2"/> well it's probably something of a record but so far i've managed to put off talking about the single most important thing in the whole novel <pause dur="1.5"/> and this is the thing which above all gives its <pause dur="0.5"/> continuity <pause dur="0.2"/> coherence and aesthetic unity <pause dur="0.5"/> and that's the voice <pause dur="0.2"/> of <pause dur="0.7"/> Huck Finn himself <pause dur="2.1"/> it's

difficult to know quite where to start on this how on earth do you convey the <pause dur="0.8"/> revolution <pause dur="0.2"/> inherent <pause dur="0.2"/> in Twain's choice of narrator <pause dur="1.2"/> and not the least of my problems is that the critic Tony Tanner <pause dur="0.7"/> has already done such a brilliant study of the # qualities and the significance of Huck's <pause dur="0.7"/> language that <pause dur="0.2"/> really my best advice is go and read The Reign Of Wonder for yourselves particularly chapter seven <pause dur="0.5"/> where Tanner talks about the whole new world that is opened up <pause dur="0.8"/> by Huck's vernacular style <pause dur="1.2"/> however just to kind of whet your appetite i'll give you a few pointers <pause dur="1.6"/> the key to Tanner's argument is <pause dur="0.9"/> a lovely and useful phrase which i've quoted on your handout <pause dur="0.6"/> <reading>language <pause dur="0.3"/> is a way of world-watching</reading> <pause dur="1.7"/> now what he means by this <pause dur="0.7"/> is that the kind of language you use <pause dur="0.4"/> has a bearing on the way you perceive and think about <pause dur="0.5"/> the world around you <pause dur="1.2"/> we're often told for instance i gather this is a myth but it doesn't matter we all believe it anyway <pause dur="0.4"/> we're often told that the Eskimo or the the Inuit peoples <pause dur="0.3"/>

have something like thirty different words for snow <pause dur="1.0"/> so the language <pause dur="0.9"/> enables them to see snow more specifically than we do <pause dur="0.3"/> they can articulate <pause dur="0.3"/> minute differences <pause dur="1.0"/> they can <pause dur="0.4"/> have a word for the way it falls they can have a word for the way it lies for the type of snow <pause dur="0.6"/> for the changing texture <pause dur="0.2"/> for how fast it melts <pause dur="0.2"/> all these kinds of things <pause dur="1.7"/> the English language just isn't geared to that kind of <pause dur="0.2"/> visual discrimination so when we look all we see is snow or sleet or sludge <pause dur="2.0"/> language is a way of world-watching <pause dur="1.2"/> there was another fascinating example that turned up in the Guardian <pause dur="0.7"/> some while back <pause dur="0.2"/> again i <shift feature="voice" new="laugh"/> i don't know <shift feature="voice" new="normal"/> if this is true <pause dur="0.2"/> but it said it was in the Guardian <pause dur="1.2"/> # in Japanese apparently <pause dur="0.9"/> only men are allowed to use a certain form of the first person singular <pause dur="0.9"/> the language allows <pause dur="0.3"/> a man <pause dur="0.3"/> to assert his personal identity <pause dur="0.2"/> in relation to the world he perceives so a man can say <pause dur="0.3"/> i say it's cold outside <pause dur="1.4"/> Japanese women by contrast <pause dur="0.4"/> would have to say something like <pause dur="0.5"/> it's cold

outside don't you think <pause dur="1.8"/> now just imagine what <pause dur="0.4"/> structures of perception and self-perception are built in to linguistic codes like that <pause dur="0.3"/> there's George Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four <pause dur="0.6"/> where the government <pause dur="1.7"/> takes hold of language if you like tries to <pause dur="0.2"/> simplify all the possibilities <pause dur="0.6"/> out of language so that they're suppressed <pause dur="0.3"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> peoples can only think in in <pause dur="0.4"/> orthodox ways <pause dur="0.9"/> okay language is a way of world-watching i'm sure you've got the idea <pause dur="0.5"/> now <pause dur="0.5"/> in Huckleberry Finn for the first time <pause dur="0.3"/> in American literature <pause dur="0.6"/> a particular type of language is used <pause dur="0.9"/> Tanner calls it a subsocial vernacular <pause dur="0.9"/> a spoken American idiom which is unsophisticated <pause dur="0.2"/> unliterary <pause dur="0.6"/> blithely unconscious of the correct forms <pause dur="0.6"/> correct in inverted commas <pause dur="1.2"/> and the point is that because of this language <pause dur="1.5"/> Huck has a different perception of America <pause dur="0.9"/> precisely because <pause dur="0.3"/> he is naive and uneducated <pause dur="0.5"/> he hasn't yet learned the orthodox ways of world-watching <pause dur="1.3"/> this means that his perceptions <pause dur="0.3"/> aren't conditioned by conventional

linguistic habits <pause dur="0.9"/> so he can see and respond to things <pause dur="2.4"/> in a different way <pause dur="1.5"/> and what we get then is this <pause dur="0.8"/> marvellously fresh <pause dur="0.2"/> spontaneous <pause dur="0.5"/> registering of experience <pause dur="1.1"/> not the world as other people have described it <pause dur="0.3"/> not the world as filtered through the lens of official <pause dur="0.4"/> language and culture not the world that has been described for him in books <pause dur="0.3"/> but he's learned to see through <pause dur="0.7"/> an inherited tradition <pause dur="0.4"/> this is the world or <pause dur="0.2"/> America rather <pause dur="0.2"/> seen <pause dur="0.8"/> as it were for the first time <pause dur="1.6"/> when Hemingway says that all modern American literature comes from Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="1.0"/> he probably had several things in mind but primarily <pause dur="0.4"/> i think <pause dur="0.3"/> he was referring to <pause dur="0.3"/> this stylistic breakthrough <pause dur="0.6"/> to the fact that here for the first time <pause dur="0.4"/> we have <pause dur="0.3"/> a vernacular American language that is capable <pause dur="0.8"/> of seeing and describing not what we're taught to look at <pause dur="0.4"/> but what actually presents itself to the eye <pause dur="1.5"/> and the innocent eye <pause dur="1.2"/> that <pause dur="0.3"/> has an innocent language if you like to <pause dur="1.0"/> articulate its perceptions <pause dur="0.4"/> so Huck's voice then <pause dur="0.3"/> that

distinguished that distinctive <pause dur="0.5"/> language and style which opens up his distinctive vision of the world <pause dur="0.5"/> is the control centre of the novel and <pause dur="1.3"/> of the novel's aesthetic unity <pause dur="1.7"/> and its success <pause dur="1.6"/> at which point <pause dur="0.6"/> right it's time to come clean many people <pause dur="0.6"/> perhaps even the majority of readers and critics <pause dur="0.4"/> do not <pause dur="0.2"/> believe or are not convinced that Huckleberry Finn <pause dur="0.2"/> is <pause dur="0.5"/> a successful <pause dur="0.2"/> aesthetic whole <pause dur="1.1"/> the first <pause dur="0.7"/> # sentence of my Norton critical edition <pause dur="0.4"/> reads <pause dur="0.4"/> <reading>Mark Twain was a great writer who never wrote a great book</reading> <pause dur="1.9"/> so we have a problem here <pause dur="1.8"/> you may have noticed that i have studiously avoided any discussion of the concluding section of the novel <pause dur="0.4"/> from chapter thirty-two to the end <pause dur="1.5"/> now this is the notorious Phelps farm sequence <pause dur="0.7"/> where Jim has been recaptured <pause dur="1.1"/> Tom Sawyer comes back on the

scene <pause dur="0.5"/> much fun and games and merry pranks supposedly <pause dur="0.6"/> and it all ends happily ever after <pause dur="0.3"/> or something like that <pause dur="1.5"/> now the fact is <pause dur="0.2"/> this section the Phelps farm sequence <pause dur="0.4"/> is one of the most controversial and fiercely debated pieces of text in all American literature <pause dur="1.0"/> for many people <pause dur="1.5"/> those final chapters destroy <pause dur="0.9"/> the unity <pause dur="0.2"/> the coherence <pause dur="0.3"/> and even the meaning <pause dur="0.3"/> of the whole novel <pause dur="1.6"/> Ernest Hemingway for instance <pause dur="0.6"/> may have called Huckleberry Finn the best book we've had <pause dur="0.5"/> but he went on to say <pause dur="0.7"/> i apologize for the racist language but i'm quoting <pause dur="0.8"/> he went on to say <reading>you must stop <pause dur="0.2"/> where the nigger Jim is stolen <pause dur="0.5"/> that is the real end <pause dur="0.4"/> the rest is just cheating</reading> <pause dur="2.0"/> so anyone who believes that the novel actually works <pause dur="0.5"/> that it is <pause dur="0.3"/> purposefully and successfully shaped all the way through including <pause dur="0.4"/>

the stuff at the Phelps farm <pause dur="0.9"/> has to confront what's come to be known as the problem of the ending <pause dur="1.1"/> now i want you to think about this <pause dur="1.2"/> if you <pause dur="0.7"/> feel or felt when you read it <pause dur="0.4"/> that the end of the novel jars if it <pause dur="0.7"/> if it leaves you uncomfortable <pause dur="0.2"/> try to analyse why <pause dur="1.4"/> and if it doesn't jar <pause dur="0.9"/> then you probably haven't been reading carefully enough <pause dur="1.1"/> i'm trailing my coat here <pause dur="0.7"/> but basically there's three <pause dur="0.4"/> major issues that i want to talk about next week <pause dur="0.4"/> Mark Twain's <pause dur="0.3"/> treatment of race <pause dur="1.8"/> the question of whether the novel is intended <pause dur="0.6"/> intended <pause dur="0.2"/> to be comic <pause dur="1.1"/> and the perennially thorny question of what's actually going on at the Phelps farm <pause dur="1.6"/> okay <pause dur="0.4"/> don't miss next week's exciting instalment