This assignment examines the language in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by looking at detail, diction, imagery, syntax and figurative language. Included are definitions and examples of the terms you need students to know before analysis begins. The passage analysis is page 217 of the text of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A blank copy of the page is included for student use as well as a detailed analysis of the page for the teacher to help students find the elements of the writer’s voice. A copy of the following page is also included along with an analysis of this page as well if you wish students to practice on their own the work that you did with them on page 217.
In comparison to other texts, student often feel that Mark Twain does not use literary devices and figurative language like that found in a text like The Scarlet Letter; however, this exercise may change their mind. It should convince them that Twain does use many of the devices that we would expect of a more “sophisticated” writer. The difference is that Twain is telling his narrative in the voice of Huck Finn. To make the narrator realistic, we would not expect to find “sophisticated” imagery, but the imagery is still present in vast amounts along with various types of figurative language like metaphors, similes, personification, hyperbole, etc.