Twain`s Contestation of Emersonian Transcendental Manhood in Huckleberry Finn
어문학 > 영문학
( Joon Hyung Park )
영어영문학 2012년, 제58권 제6호, 1193~1213페이지(총21페이지)
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    This essay "Twain`s Contestation of Emersonian Transcendental Manhood in Huckleberry Finn" explores how Mark Twain`s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) manifests his postwar contestation of Ralph Waldo Emerson`s transcendental manhood that endorses the dogmatic, egocentric, and decorporealized position of the Cartesian subject, who believes his being`s unity, elevation, and centrality through his fantasy of possessing direct access to divine truth. The connection between Emerson and Twain is based not on Emerson`s influence on Twain but on their common interest in American landscape as a site for the redefinition of manhood and masculinity. I examine different types of manhood in their association with nature in Huckleberry Finn by comparing them with the two fundamental concepts of Emerson`s philosophy: "a true man" in "Self-Reliance" (1841) and transparent eyeball vision in Nature (1836). Twain`s use of Huck`s ambivalent position-his centrality as a protagonist in the novel in spite of his marginality in society-renegotiates Emerson`s valorization of nonconformity, wholeness, and nonchalance as the characteristics of both boyhood and "a true man," Emerson`s term for the ideal individual in "Self-Reliance." I also read Twain`s satire of two different types of masculine characters -Bob and the Child of Calamity, boatmen of the Southern frontier, and Colonel Grangerford, patriarch of a Southern aristocratic family-as Twain`s denouncement of the antebellum desire for transcendental vision, which Emerson crystalizes into his notion of transparent eyeball in Nature.
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