"Away From Home and Amongst Strangers": Domestic Sphere, Public Arena, and Huckleberry Finn"
Despite Mark Twain's situating the story “forty to fifty years ago” and in a rural river valley, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn closely engaged daily dilemmas and concerns of a Northern, urban, middle-class audience. As Carolyn Porter has argued, the familiar comprehension of American fiction as fantasies of escape from society and history, as authorial efforts to light out for the territory, needs to be dislodged by a sensitivity to such writings as acute responses to their immediate context – a developing industrial and capitalist society and culture. Although Huck's world may appear cut off from the landscape and society of bourgeois city dwellers of the 1880s, and although there are not explicit references to industrialization or urbanization, the novel reproduces and addresses new features of daily life, alterations and stresses in private and public behavior and interaction that were being precipitated by the accelerated economic and demographic changes of the late 19th Century.
Randall Knoper. ""Away From Home and Amongst Strangers": Domestic Sphere, Public Arena, and Huckleberry Finn"" Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies 14 (1989): 125-140.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/knoper/6