Free Essays - The Tall Tale in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Adventures Huckleberry Huck Finn Essays
The Tall Tale in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

����� In Mark Twain's timeless American classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry

Finn, the narrator often finds himself in undesirable situations.� These

situations, which are far-fetched even for the nineteenth-century, provide much

humor to the novel and demonstrate Huck's cunning.� Huck's adept use of the tall

tale becomes a survival tool on this adventure.

����� In the novel, Huck sees lies as more of a practical solution to problems

than as a moral dilemma.� He rationalizes that he has "never seen anybody but

lied, one time or another"� (1).� Unlike the lawless adventurer of the frontier,

Huck does not use his knack for selfish purposes.� He, instead, uses his lies

strictly as a means of escaping misfortune and never for his own profit.� At one

point in the story, Huck uses his skill to fabricate a story that keeps a skiff

of slave-hunters away from Jim:� " 'Well, there's five niggers run off to-night,

up yonder above the head of the bend.� Is your man white or black?'...'He's

white' "� (110).� Huck's tall tales are used for the survival of both Huck and

Jim, and Jim knows this.

����� Huck's stories are usually believed, but even when doubted, he manages

to change his fib just enough to make it believable.� An example of this is when

he is caught as a stow-away on a raft and his original story is not believed by

the crew:� "Now, looky-here, you're scared, and so you talk wild.� Honest, now,

do you live in a scowl, or is it a lie?" (106).� Huck then changes his story

just enough to make it believable, displaying his unique ability to adjust his

tale to within the parameters of believability.� Throughout the novel Huck fools

many intelligent people.� His youth gives him a mask of innocence, that people

don't want to disbelieve.

����� Stretching the truth comes naturally to Huck Finn.� Although his lies

may seem to show a lack of good ethics, it is the lies themselves that truly

show his virtue.