Imagery

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by

Mark Twain

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Imagery 1 key example

Definition of Imagery
Imagery, in any sort of writing, refers to descriptive language that engages the human senses. For instance, the following lines from Robert Frost's poem "After Apple-Picking" contain imagery that engages... read full definition
Imagery, in any sort of writing, refers to descriptive language that engages the human senses. For instance, the following lines from Robert Frost's poem "After... read full definition
Imagery, in any sort of writing, refers to descriptive language that engages the human senses. For instance, the following lines... read full definition
Chapter 19
Explanation and Analysis—The River:

Throughout the novel, Huck uses expressive imagery when describing the Mississippi River, highlighting the ways that the river is a symbol for freedom for Huck, who has escaped both the abusive and inconsistent life with his father Pap and the restrictive, rule-bound, “sivilized” ways of living with Miss Watson. The freedom and ease Huck experiences on the river comes across in moments like this:

Next we slid into the river and had a swim, so as to freshen up and cool off; then we set down on the sandy bottom where the water was about knee deep, and watched the daylight come. Not a sound anywheres—perfectly still— just like the whole world was asleep, only sometimes the bullfrogs a-cluttering, maybe.

The details about the sandy bottom of the river, the daylight, the silence—save for some croaking frugs—allows readers to experience the bliss of this moment alongside Huck.

Of course, in being an example of absolute freedom in nature, the river is not bound to any rules. Huck uses imagery to describe the dangers of living on a raft on the river:

Well, we swarmed along down the river road, just carrying on like wildcats; and to make it more scary the sky was darking up, and the lightning beginning to wink and flitter, and the wind to shiver amongst the leaves.

The details that readers can both see (the sky darkening) and feel (the wind moving between the trees) captures how the river guarantees freedom for Huck but doesn’t guarantee safety.

Chapter 29
Explanation and Analysis—The River:

Throughout the novel, Huck uses expressive imagery when describing the Mississippi River, highlighting the ways that the river is a symbol for freedom for Huck, who has escaped both the abusive and inconsistent life with his father Pap and the restrictive, rule-bound, “sivilized” ways of living with Miss Watson. The freedom and ease Huck experiences on the river comes across in moments like this:

Next we slid into the river and had a swim, so as to freshen up and cool off; then we set down on the sandy bottom where the water was about knee deep, and watched the daylight come. Not a sound anywheres—perfectly still— just like the whole world was asleep, only sometimes the bullfrogs a-cluttering, maybe.

The details about the sandy bottom of the river, the daylight, the silence—save for some croaking frugs—allows readers to experience the bliss of this moment alongside Huck.

Of course, in being an example of absolute freedom in nature, the river is not bound to any rules. Huck uses imagery to describe the dangers of living on a raft on the river:

Well, we swarmed along down the river road, just carrying on like wildcats; and to make it more scary the sky was darking up, and the lightning beginning to wink and flitter, and the wind to shiver amongst the leaves.

The details that readers can both see (the sky darkening) and feel (the wind moving between the trees) captures how the river guarantees freedom for Huck but doesn’t guarantee safety.

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