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Picaresque bildung in Huckleberry Finn and On the road
2004 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim with the essay is to examine if it is possible to call Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road ‘Picaresque bildung’ since it seems to be mixture of picaresque and bildungsroman features in both. Both novels have features that are characteristics for picaresque novels; we have an upper class and tricksters, in Huckleberry Finn represented by white people’s prejudiced thoughts about black, and the King and Duke as tricksters, and in On the Road the view of Mexico, and Dean Moriarty. But in conventional picaresque novels, where the protagonists join the tricksters, our protagonists take another way, which embraces the bildungsroman novel. Huck and Sal develop by spending time with those they have prejudices about, and learn they are not inferior because they have different skin or live outside the US. Neither do they join the tricksters. Success is another trait of the bildungsroman that we find at the end of the novels. Huck continues his journey alone, without anyone telling him what to do, and Sal’s success is the publication of his journeys, which is the reason he made them in the first place. The essay comes to the conclusion that it is indeed possible to define Huckleberry Finn and On the Road as ‘Picaresque bildung’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. , 19 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53775Local ID: ENG C-17OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53775DiVA: diva2:1102335
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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