Beyond good and evil: Huckleberry Finn on human intimacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars consistently use a discourse of morality to interpret Mark Twain's novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. By contrast, I argue, not that morality should be used to measure the value of Twain's novel, and not that the novel should be used to establish an alternative morality, but that Huckleberry Finn is politically and socially responsible, according to Twain, precisely because the book seeks to destroy and abolish morality. There are two stages to this argument. In the first part, I examine why Twain considers morality socially, psychologically, and politically destructive, while in the second part, I show what Twain offers his reader in place of morality, which is an experience of friendship and intimacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-501
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


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