In chapter two of Arac’s argument, the critic made a statement that really stood out to me. I actually paused in my reading so I could take in exactly what he was trying to get at. He wrote, “I prefer to understand Huckleberry Finn as built from highly selective artistic choices rather than simple reflections of the reality of antebellum America” (Arac 39). The way that Twain is representing a version of Missouri that is entangled in slavery at the time, is not necessarily historically accurate. Arac mentions that everything is a bit more simplified in the world of Huck Finn.
For me, personally, this is a reassuring assessment. In the previous chapter, and continuing into the second as well, Arac describes the way some readers have latched on to Twain’s work, creating ideological beliefs from it. But the sooner we accept the fact that it is fiction work, the sooner people will hopefully stop trying to turn his work into a political statement. Twain was not trying to be Harriet Beecher Stowe when he wrote his novel. Since the beginning of the semester, I have held fast to the idea that Mark Twain depicts a world in a realistic manner, not offering concrete answers to life’s difficult questions via the narrator. In my opinion, Arac’s explanations for the slight inaccuracies or inconsistencies of the real world to the novel highlight the case for Twain offering his readers an example of human relations, race relations, what have you, during a moment in time.