Rhetorical Analysis Of Mark Twain's "The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn"

865 words - 3 pages

Mark Twain's use of picturesque diction, symbolic punctuation, composed sentence formation, and fluent organization in this particular passage are overflowing. He uses these literary techniques to help him create the movement of the raft and time as Huck is describing it. Twain's description makes the journey seem like a peaceful experience.The colorful diction in this passage portrays the continuous, elegant motion of the raft while Huck and Jim travel down the river. "Two or three days and nights went by; I reckon I might say they swum by; they slid along so quiet and smooth and lovely." The metaphoric diction in this sentence combines the movement of the river with the element of time to create the feeling of a peaceful, undisturbed journey. Since Huck and Jim only travel at night for their protection, the river becomes all the more serene with no commotion from the activity of the people. Huck enjoys this tranquility. Twain's artistic diction clearly establishes this, as such in the following sentence from the passage. "Not a sound, anywheres-perfectly still-just like the whole world was asleep..." The words "not a sound," "perfectly still," and "asleep" make the journey seem very private, with Huck and Jim having minimal interaction with others, allowing the days and nights to simply blend together. Twain's vivid diction in this passage allows the reader to understand the simultaneous movement of the raft and the passing time while interconnecting the two, comparing the passing time to the steady movement of the raft.The punctuation throughout this passage is clever. In areas where Huck is describing the imagery of the river, there are long sentences, with separate phrases combined by semicolons. This technique symbolizes the movement of the raft on the river. The constant flow of the river can be seen in Twain's flow of sentences. Particularly when mentioning the scenic river, Twain tends to keep the thought continuous. ."..then the river softened up, away off, and warn't black any more, but gray; you could see little dark spots drifting along, ever so far away..." Twain's use of the semicolon represents Huck and Jim's journey on the river, drifting along. He allows the sentences to stream together, each describing a new intricacy of the river, just as the river is constantly pushing the raft along, taking Huck and Jim to new, unseen places. The punctuation in this passage was brilliantly designed to have underlying symbolism to the events in the book and create the effect of the steady, ongoing movement of the river and time as Huck and Jim...

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