An Evaluation of Twain

An Evaluation of Twain - An Evaluation of Twain Austen and...

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Unformatted text preview: An Evaluation of Twain, Austen, and Potok's Selected Works In each of the three novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Emma by Jane Austen, and My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, the protagonists are rather strategically placed in different positions in society. As such they are given rather striking qualities, traits, and backgrounds, which make it easy for one to notice a great deal of character growth and development as the novel progresses. Each character, through a variety of literary techniques, can be traced through a climactic development to their final disconnection with their old selves. Additionally, these same techniques allow us to watch as they make their initial entrance into a state of self awareness and the beginnings of becoming a new person. Huckleberry Finn, of all the characters to be discussed, comes from the most adverse situation. Being in the lowest level of society, a child, and having an early aversion to society, Huckleberry Fin must go through a t rying amount of traumatizing events before coming to his final development as a character. However, this aversion to society creates a great deal of skepticism and cynicism that aid Finn along his path. Continually we see Finn rejected or mistreated by society. I t rather seems that society failed him when he needed it most. In turn, Finn is able to develop a sense of independence from it. It is in this way that we trace his development. How far he can or will go with or without society. Can Finn find morality without guidance? In the end, he must either become part of the society he hates, or completely disengage himself from it. Emma, in Jane Austen's novel, is a bright girl blest with money and the adoration of those around her. However, as we come to find out early on, she is a little too blessed. Emma has "the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself." (Austen, 2001, ch.1) In this early passage of the book Austen warns us of Emma's faults as they will go on to play an immense role in her future development and conflict. This particular quotation is important to recall and remember throughout the novel while tracing Emma's progress. Asher Lev is also a highly unique character, perhaps one of the most unique between the three, having come from a highly exclusive Jewish community. From an early age we see Asher's partiality toward art, even a talent for it. However, his community is a religious one, and being a Hasidic Jew, he is required to follow a strict set of religious practices. Within Asher emerges a battle between his art and his religion. Where exactly do his heart and loyalties lie? With his community pulling him one way and his passion another, he must sort out his emotions and priorities. I t is through this conflict that Asher makes his way toward emotional development....
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This note was uploaded on 08/29/2011 for the course EDU 101-404 taught by Professor Ide during the Spring '11 term at DeVry Phoenix.

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An Evaluation of Twain - An Evaluation of Twain Austen and...

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