'Nature' in Huckleberry Finn
In his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain conveys his high regard for nature through the use of several rhetorical devices such as personification and tone. Twain changes his tone when describing the Mississippi River from cynical and sarcastic to flowing and daydreaming. This change in tone illustrates his own appreciation for the beauty and importance of nature.
Throughout the passage on page 88, Twain uses personification to show the beauty of nature in contrast to the immaturity and repugnant mentality of society. Huck would sometimes wake up to "see a steamboat coughing along upstream" that "now and then would belch a whole world of sparks up out of her chimbleys" which acts like a child without manners. Twain shows how disgusted he is with society by the use of the words coughing and belch. Both words have a negative connotation that lead a reader to think of illness with the use of coughing, and immaturity with the use of belch. "The nice breeze springs up and comes fanning you from over there as a servant to a king in his court, and everything (smiles) in the sun." Twain chooses the word "springs" to describe the action of the breeze because it makes the breeze seem to be present only to comfort. Twain does this to show that nature is for humans to enjoy.
The passage on page 88 flows like thoughts during a daydream rather than being written in the short sarcastic style of the rest of the book. "Two or three days...swim by like a fish through the river they slid along so smooth and lovely." Twain shows the dream like quality of this scene by saying the days "swim by". The word swim adds to the mood of the passage by showing how the days flowed by rather than just went by. Jim and Huck "put in the day, layzying around, listening to the stillness". Twain says they listened to the stillness to show how much action was actually occurring in the seemingly paralyzed river. He shows that there is much more to a river than just infinite gallons of water; it is alive.
To Twain, nature was almost heaven. He describes it with much more care than that which he gives to passages about civilization. He shows the beauty of nature by using select details with connotations of peacefulness and serenity.