IMAGERY: Imagery is a description in a work of literature that can be created through the natural senses of the human body, including visual, auditory, olfactory, and tactile elements.
EXAMPLE: “I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi… I was powerful glad to get away from the feuds… we said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” (128)
Twain, Mark. _The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn._ New York: Penguin Books, 2003. Print.
FUNCTION: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is about a young boy who runs away from his hometown and society and decides to travel down the Mississippi River with Jim, a slave who becomes his travelling companion along the way. In the example above, Huck is talking about a shooting that goes down between two families that are involved in a feud. While this is just one example, it represents almost every other event that occurred on land versus on the river. When Mark Twain wrote this novel, his goal was to get the message across to his audience using the journey of a young boy travelling down the Mississippi.
The entire book is filled with details that help the reader visualize Huckleberry’s journey and set the mood for each scene. Through imagery, the mood is set and as the readers, we can see a vast difference between Huckleberry’s experiences on land, and Huckleberry’s experiences on the river. In other words, as the story progresses, we realize that Huck’s experiences on land represent all of the wrongs of society, while his experiences travelling down the river represent the way Huck wants to live, wild and free. Without Twain’s excessive use of imagery, we the readers would not be able to picture their experiences well enough to notice the vast difference in-between the two.