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A Postmodern Reading of Huck-Jim Relationship in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Author YangLiRong
Tutor DaiGuiYu
School Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords postmodern deconstruction problematic binary opposition undecidability gender postcolonial otherness whiteness
Type Master's thesis
Year 2002
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For more than a century, both Mark Twain and his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have aroused great interest and literary scrutiny. This thesis joins to celebrate the greatness of Mark Twain and Hucklebeny Finn, but from a postmodern point of view, arguing that Mark Twain’s work not only achieves a realistic portrait of American life in the 19’’1 century, but also conveys postmodernist thoughts.This thesis attempts to have a reinterpretation of Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Hiickleherrv Finn by focusing on the relationship between the two protagonists桯uck and Jim.Deconstruction serves as a pivotal critical strategy for this thesis. This thesis first has a brief review of the postmodern terms such as logocentrism, binary oppositions, supplementarity, and undecidability. Then it chooses to reconsider the relationship between Huck and Jim in order to show the uncertainty of gender roles in their relationship and the problematic racial relationship between them. At last, this thesis concludes that Mark Twain proves himself a writer with postmodernist inspirations by dissolving the distinctions between binary oppositions of masculinity femininity and blackness/whiteness in his novel.

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