Kateesha McGregor
GENG 248
Professor Otten
17 March 2003

The Changing World Around Us

Literature was not highly favored before the Civil War in the South. There
weren\'t too many people who could appreciate the essence and art of
literature. However, after the Civil War literature was in full bloom. Just
as literature\'s development enhanced over time, so did the world. Many
challenges were set in front of many Southerners in regards to overcoming
the Civil War and incorporating themselves into the new world. Many authors
embellished on the concept of being freed from the past. Authors such as
Samuel Clemons, Booker T. Washington, and Walt Whitman all suggested ways
in which the South could overcome and move forward. Holding on to the past
would only prove to be detrimental to the progression into the new world.
Samuel Clemons, more commonly known as Mark Twain, was a U.S.
humorist, writer, and lecturer. Samuel Clemons wrote The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn, one of America\'s masterpieces. The primary theme of the
novel is the conflict between civilization and uncivilization. Huck, who is
the main character struggles with trying to remain as uncivilized as can be
because he doesn\'t like rules. But trying to run away from civilization is
impossible because the world around is changing and in order to fall in
together with the rest of the world.
Another them from the novel dealt with slavery. Mark Twain was firmly
against slavery, a trade which had been established in the Southern states
long before. Although there were freed slaves among society, slavery was
still very much alive. Huck Finn, has a lot of mishaps in his life. This
story can be applied as a learning tool for the South;s forward movement in
the sense that this is a time where individuals begin to think for
themselves about the ways of the land versus society telling them to feel
and think a certain way. This key element is by far the most important
element in forward movement., individualism.
Huck Finn begins to struggle with the concept of slavery. He
befriends Jim, a slave. He has to think for himself and determine for
himself and whether he terminates the friendship due to the fact that Jim
is a slave or if he will ignore that fact and continue the friendship.
This particular conflict is one of the many holds that Southerners
tend to come in conflict with. The very idea of this struggle in the book
is to not burn your bridges because you never know when you might need
them. In other words, don\'t trun your back just because someone holds a
status that is less than yours. Because you just might need them someday.
Booker T. Washington had an alsmost different approach when he wrote
"Up from Slavery." Washington felt that progression into the new world was
attainable by educating African-Americans. Education would always be the
key element to keep in time with modern U.S.A. Not only are we to educate
African-Americans but society as a whole. Not only do we educate society to
prepare them for the future, but we also educate them about the past so as
to not make the same mistakes again.
Booker T. Washington, however, also favored the ideals expressed in
Twain\'s work, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. That idea being not to
burn your bridges because you may need them. Slaves were made to work the
fields and they were not necessarily needed for survival. However, there
came a time when war broke out and was prolonged. Whites has trouble
securing food for themselves. While slaves thrived off cornbread and pork
which could have been grown on the plantation. Whites were accustomed to
coffee, tea, sugar, and other things that could not be raised on the
plantation (Norton, 749). The whites needed to rely even more so on the
slaves than usual. This proved to be yet another element in forward
movement. The superior now had to depend heavily on the inferior. The new
modern world suggested that even those in high power needed help from
others, those others sometimes being from a lower class.
These two authors exhibited ideas for progression in terms of
uplifting those lower class people so that they could become a part of the
world.
Walt Whitman moved totally away from slavery and into a whole new
direction with forward movement. Whitman\'s book Leaves of Grass was very
controverisal. Whitman said everything outwardly when it came to sexual
relations.
Whitman created a daringly new approach to literature. Since
literature is going to always be a part of America, it