He is a wanderer without destination, one who floats where the tide takes him. This describes Huck, and makes Huckleberry Finn a picaresque novel. According to eNotes encyclopedia, an picaresque novel is: Early form of the novel, usually a first-person narrative, relating the episodic adventures of a rogue or. Get an answer for ‘Write a note on Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn as a picaresque tale of the frontier?Please explain in detail.’ and find homework help for.

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We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been labelled as a picaresque novel.

A picaresque novel is an adventure story that involves an anti-hero or picaro who wanders around with no actual destination in mind. The picaresque novel has many key elements. It must contain an anti-hero who is usually described as an underling subordinate with no place in society, it is usually told in autobiographical form, and it is potentially endless, meaning that it has no tight plot, but could go on and on. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has moulded itself perfectly to all these essential elements of a picaresque novel.

Huck Finn is undeniably the picaro, and the river is his method of travel, as well as the way in which he wanders around with no actual destination. This is due to the fact that the river is in hucklebrrry and not Huck.

Furthermore, it is the picaresque style that has also aided in highlighting the escapades that Huck experiences through his travels as those crucial to the novel, but also crucial to such a character as Huckleberry Finn. Huck is the perfect example of a young boy with adventure on his mind, and thus the characterization of Huck as a picaro is done flawlessly. One of the most important aspects of the picaresque novel is the fact that it must contain a picaro, otherwise known as the anti-hero of the novel.

Huck is obviously the picaro in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck fits this definition perfectly. He is most comfortable out on his own in the frontier. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied.

Huck wants to keep his independence, and he believes that the frontier is the only place where he can do that. Another characteristic of the picaro is the fact that he is a wanderer, which means that he is the type of character who roams from place-to-place with no set destination in mind.

If Huck passes a place or location there is no way for him to turn the raft around, but instead he has to continue on down the river. Huck begins to have a conscience, which proves that he is beginning to mature because he begins to actually think about things, and care about them. More often than not a picaro has been brought up by a dishonest and unloving family, and therefore has no traditional values. Moreover, because of his upbringing Huck had no one to teach him any values, and thus he created his own value system, which was the opposite of the social norm.


For example, Huck lied his way through his travels and adventures. His first major lie and the beginning of his adventure was staging his own murder, which enabled him to escape his father.

In addition, whenever Huck and Jim met other people along their way some kind of lie always popped out of his mouth. Huck constantly changes his name in his lies. Hence, it is so natural for Huck to lie that it becomes difficult for him to keep track of the names he calls himself within his lies. His lies extend to the point of posing as a young girl to an old woman, but he mixes his names up and is caught in the lie: You do a girl tolerable poor but you might fool men, maybe.

They pull a stunt where they charge people to watch them do a revival of a play, despite the fact that they barely know the play or are by no means actors. Consequently, they barely escape from the town on the third night with the money that they had cheated the townspeople of.

Thus, there were many instances where Huck lied and cheated his way through his various encounters and experiences, which ties him in perfectly with the typical picaro stereo-type.

An Analysis of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a Picaresque Tale Essay

A picaresque novel is generally told in autobiographical form. Huck is the narrator within The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and thus is speaking from picarseque first person point-of-view.

This is largely associated with the fact that although Huck tells terrible lies and does some terrible things, it is impossible for the readers not to like Huck. Hence, it is easy for the readers to side with Huck. It is easier uuckleberry see the story through Huck when the slang he uses is also incorporated into the novel.

If Huck had traveled down the river void of his accent or slang then he would not have seemed the true loner and adventurer that Twain made him out to be, which is because he would have spoken in the same educated manner that any well-brought up boy would have. A story that has been defined as picaresque, such as The Adventures ofHuckleberry Finn can also be said to be potentially endless.

A picaresque is often described as an adventure story, and thus if a novel is an adventure story then there really is no reason for the adventures to end. A picaresque is said to be potentially endless because it has no tight plot that has to end piaresque a given time. Instead, the plot can change and continue on into infinity.

Another literary term for a picaresque being potentially endless is called beads-on-a-string. It is like a yarn, and there is no exact moment when the story starts to wind down and close, but instead there is always an opportunity to keep the story going.


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the perfect example of this. There is no tight plot structure, such as a need for a climax and falling action because these could easily be taken out allowing Huck to continue telling his story, and the reader would never be any the wiser. Furthermore, there is no exact spot in the story where the reader thinks that the story should begin to wind down, and this is because it is a young boys adventure story.

Huck represents eternal boyhood, and thus his adventures can also be seen as eternal. Therefore, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a story that can be potentially endless due to the fact that it is a young boy telling the story who experiences a life of adventures, and there is no picareesque why those adventures should have to end at any specific time. A picaresque story often involves a picaro that has some kind of sidekick along with him.

In the case of Huckleberry Finn, Jim is his sidekick. Furthermore, both Huck and Jim are running away because they want freedom. Thus, it is Jim that further proves the sidekick mentality within a picaresque novel, and within The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn contains all the elements that any picaresque novel should.

An Analysis of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a Picaresque Tale Essay Example | Graduateway

Huck Finn is the picaro and alongside him is his sidekick Jim. The adventures that these two encounter along their journey is pure proof of what elements a picaresque novel should include, from lying and cheating to wanderers along a river, to the changes that occur as ax result of these adventures.

Huck has all the characteristics that a typical picaro or anti-hero should have. Therefore, all the aspects within TheAdventures of Huckleberry Finn cement it together to further root it as a picaresque novel with a unique and yet solid picaro as the main character. Downloading text is forbidden on this website.

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