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"I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself, 'All right, then, I'll go to hell.'"
Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is, according to many critics and fond readers, the great American novel. Full of vibrant American characters, intriguing regional dialects and folkways, and down-home good humor, it also hits Americans in one of their greatest and on-going sore spots: the fraught issue of racism.
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ICE Study Guides are constructed to aid the reader of ICE classics to achieve a level of critical and literary appreciation befitting the works themselves.
Ideally suited for students themselves and as a guide for teachers, the ICE Study Guides serve as a complement to the treasures of critical appreciation already included in ICE titles.
As Huck and Jim float down the Mississippi and encounter all manner of people and situations, and as Huck struggles mightily with his conscience concerning Jim, the novel strongly invites a moral and religious perspective. Mary R. Reichardt, the editor of this edition, is a professor of literature in the Catholic Studies department at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul MN.
A look at the essays
"Camp meetings", or revivals, show up in Huck's adventures and in Twain's library. Fr. Anthony J. Berret, SJ, shows how this religious practice lends form to the narrative.
William F. Byrne shows how Huck Finn is not just un-Romantic, but anti-Romantic in "Huckleberry Finn as a Response to Romanticism", while John F. Devanney, Jr. navigates the troubled waters of morality in the tale: why Twain was afraid people would impose a moral on his work, and how critics have done so despite him.
In "Huck's Sound Heart", Thomas W. Stanford III investigates the conflicts of conscience that pervade the work. Aaron Urbanczyk offers "Huckleberry Finn as American Epic", the story of a young and unsettled boy in a young and unsettled country.
Mary Reichardt situates the reader with the introductory essay.
Books by Author
by last name, except for Wm. Shakespeare
Meet the Minds behind the Huckleberry Finn Edition
Mary Reichardt is Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota. She received a PhD in literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has published eight books, including Catholic Women Writers (Greenwood, 2001), Exploring Catholic Literature (Sheed and Ward / Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), the two-volume Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature (Greenwood, 2004), and Between Human and Divine: The Catholic Vision in Contemporary Literature (Catholic University of America Press, 2010).
Anthony J. Berret, SJ
Anthony J. Berret, SJ, teaches English at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Author of Mark Twain and Shakespeare: A Cultural Legacy, he has produced other articles and papers on Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Currently he is writing a book on the function of music in the works of Fitzgerald.
William F. Byrne
William F. Byrne is Assistant Professor of Government and Politics at Saint John's University in New York and is associate editor of the journal Humanitas. His articles and essays on such topics as problems of liberalism and modernity, literature and politics, and the political-philosophical thought of Edmund Burke have appeared in a variety of scholarly journals.
John Francis Devanney, Jr.
John Francis Devanny, Jr. lectures and writes on the intellectual and cultural history of the Old South. He holds a PhD in history from the University of South Carolina, where he also completed studies in Southern literature. He currently teaches history and literature at Saint Joseph's Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina.
Thomas W. Stanford III
Thomas W. Stanford III is an associate professor of English language and literature at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, where he edits Faith & Reason, the academic journal of Christendom College.
Aaron Urbanczyk is Assistant Professor of English at Southern Catholic College in Dawsonville, Georgia. His publications include articles and reviews primarily in the fields of American literature and literary theory. He has taught literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida.