26 Oct 2009
One of the foremost hilarious writers of the world is Mark Twain. He has fashioned some of the unsurpassed works of his time, in the most humorous way. The readers of Huckleberry Finn have long valued his typical analysis of self awareness in the protagonist. Jane Austen too focuses on one of her few significant themes of self awareness however in a most amusing, simple and jocular illustration. “Huckleberry Finn is a grand book as it is about a god–about, that is, a power which seems to have a mind and will of its own, and which to men of moral imagination appears to embody a great moral idea.Huck himself is the servant of the river-god, and he comes very close to being aware of the divine nature of the being he serves”. (Trilling 1985).
A fabulous making of Mark Twain, the work of art best exposes his realization in the complementary characters. Huck’s movement towards self-realization is apparent when he utters, “House was jammed again that night, and we sold this crowd the same way” (Twain 224). Again, in Jane Austen’s book Emma the chief theme arises as self awareness. On the other hand, the personal and informal approach lets the reader get caught up in Potok’s; tenor in portraying self awareness in, My name is Asher Lev. All of the novels have intensified the feelings of the protagonists paving way to self-awareness.
Huckleberry Finn is a humorous tale is in the form of a first person recounting and the reader’s insight of the story is through Huck’s self awareness. The protagonist’s critical concern of the dishonor of racism and the gruesomeness of slavery illustrates his self realization.
Self awareness persists as the theme even in the previous book, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, where Huck manages to make a massive sum of wealth together with his acquaintance Tom, as they discovered the robber’s burgle. Huck and Jim are portrayed in the course of a voyage of realizing themselves. Their struggle against wretchedness and adversity adds to their self awareness. This further leads Huck to build self awareness.
Twain thoughtfully and with a tang of hilarity, portrays the social and ethical issues from the viewpoint of an innocent lad. He craftily slots in humor and at one fell swoop, brings into light the humiliation of racism and the ugliness of slavery. For this sort of his writing, he has been also long condemned for his open depiction of the social illness of the time.
Twain articulates of the humiliation of racism and the immoralities of slavery with a most cheery and modest appeal. “American humor gave Mark Twain, his materials, his methods, and his inspiration” (Blair 27). This is a main fraction of the sarcasm that evidently comes to light when scrutinized warily. Very satirically and precisely, Twain disapproves of the facets of ethics in terms of slavery, discrimination and such grave social distresses.
Through a young lad’s awareness we comprehend Twain’s portrayal of slavery as a symbolic depiction of the dilemma of blacks in the United States even in the post-slavery time. The author depicts the duplicity of slavery, indicating how racism affected the oppressors as much as it did those who were exploited. The satirical use of mockery yet again exposes itself when in a world of ethical perplexity, in which apparently “good and civilized” white people similar to Miss Watson and Sally Phelps convey no worry about the prejudice and illegitimacies of slavery or the brutality of extricating a poor slave from his folks.
Again, in Jane Austen’s book Emma the chief theme arises as self awareness. Purposely, Austen intends to evaluate, correspondingly, the beneficial and detrimental affairs in the female protagonist’s life. The situation in Emma’s life is different from that of Huck. Unlike Huck, Emma is born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
Emma’s purpose in life is benevolence; nevertheless she is powerless of perceiving her own haughtiness. She ends up causing woe and humiliation through her words. “The danger was at present so unperceived that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes for her.”(Austen, 2007). Conversely, at the end of the day, she realizes her flaws and widens her self awareness.
However, Emma also augments her self awareness to realize her position and stance and thus her importance in other’s lives. “She was quite concerned and ashamed and resolved to not do such things any longer.” (Austen, 2007).Her relationship with the men in the novel, Harriet and Knightly, helps her realize. The essence of her relationship with Harriet portrays the lack of moral fiber in her. The authority is with Emma, and she acts according to her desire. However, little does she think of Harriet’s desire?
The affiliation involving Knightley and Emma, conversely is a completely unusual kind of rapport anchored in understanding and supremacy. While Emma prevails over Harriet with merely her wishes and welfare, Knightley is by and large noble in his awareness towards Emma. The distinction in these affairs is accentuated by the comparative realization or self awareness of Emma and Knightley. In connection with the foremost link, Emma is absolutely oblivious that her affiliation with Harriet is expedient. On the other hand, Knightley is all the time vigilant for self-seeking incentives.
Emma’s position in society vastly different from that of Huckleberry Finn, therefore, the course of her growth is in a different context. Emma has “the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself.”(Austen, 2007) This remark is significant as it sums up Emma’s character in a major way because it is this trait that leads her to meddle in other people’s lives ending, at times, with painful consequences. It is this trait that induces self awareness within her.
On the other hand, Asher Lev is from an elite Jewish society which has very stern spiritual values and observations. The fervor for art, tears him between his obsession and his sense of duty to his people. Asher puts up with a lot of tumult in his mind. This facilitates his escalation as the protagonist in the work of fiction. “I am a traitor, an apostate, a self-hater, an inflictor of shame upon my family, my friends, my people. This is somewhat true.”(Potok, 2000). This shows Asher’s nagging feeling of guilt that he was the black sheep of the family.
A few of works include Emma, Sense and Sensibility, etc .However; Emma is beyond a doubt her finest work. Furthermore in doing so, she preserves absolute tranquility in her pace that is embellished with hilarity. In, Emma, Austen shows the deception of the so called high class society. The exercise of irony pictures itself in a world of ethical perplexity, in which apparently high class, civilized people dwell.
The most inflexible setting is that of Asher Lev. His penchant for art pushes him into inconsistency. He suffers from complexes because of his parents who anticipate his religious and spiritual participation. “But as a great painter I will cause pain again if I must.”(Potok, 2000). He recurrently looks deranged. “I looked at the old Waterman fountain pen my father had once given me. I now held it in my hand. I had drawn a face with it across an entire printed page of my Chumash. I could not remember just drawing it.” (Potok, 2000).
A wonderful writing of Austen, Emma, unravels her combination of paired characters. The novelist hits the thought of the social status. She does this by amplifying the bizarre approach to the ethnicity that are practiced. Her criticism mainly targets people who structure and represent the unusual class system. This is a main fraction of the sarcasm that evidently comes to light when scrutinized warily. Very satirically and precisely, Austen disapproves of the facets of ethics in terms of grave social distresses.
All of the novels have intensified the feelings of the protagonists paving way to self-awareness. All the novelists, Twain, Austen and Potok, apply an assortment of fictitious skills to go behind their hero. They are subject to the background, portrayal and argument of the protagonist. The intensification of self awareness in Finn, Emma and Asher, is influenced by the setting.
AUSTEN, J. (2007) EMMA. NEW YORK: VINTAGE BOOKS.
POTOK, C. (2000) MY NAME IS ASHER LEV. NEW YORK: ANCHOR BOOKS.
TWAIN, M. (2001) ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN. LOS ANGELES: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS.
PUBLICATION MANUAL OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION. (5TH EDITION). (2001). WASHINGTON DC: AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION.
LIONEL TRILLING, “THE GREATNESS OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN,” IN HUCKLEBERRY FINN AMONG THE CRITICS, EDITED BY M. THOMAS INGE, UNIVERSITY PUBLICATIONS OF AMERICA, 1985, PP. 81 – 92.