The Materialist Conception of Fiction

  • Michael A. Parra


In contributing to an overall discussion on the tension between empirical reality, fiction, and the self, this chapter invites readers into a discussion of why literary scholars interest themselves seriously in the once-upon-a-time worlds of fiction—these unreal stories about unreal individuals—as the second decade of the twenty-first century draws to an end. Completed the same year the US Supreme Court ruled Civil Rights as unconstitutional (1883), Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn actively criticizes the failures of Reconstruction by posing the question: how do you free a “free slave”? Huck Finn’s response to the sociopolitical climate of the American South, where he emerges as a representation of the African American experience during the rise and fall of Reconstruction, provokes the question: was Huckleberry Finn ever white?

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Parra
    • 1
  1. 1.San Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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