Huck is very responsive to the beauty of the natural world about him. He uses vivid imagery to describe nature in a peculiar way, which one can even consider out of character for him. His word choice, general attitude, use of literary devices, and the use of words which describe the sounds as they happened, all add to his vivid description of the summer storm. Huck’s reaction is unusual because up to this point in the story the impression of Huck that the reader has is one of a wild, uneducated boy running away from home. The reader does not expect Huck to analyze nature by using thought provoking similes
Huck’s use of action words contribute greatly to the descriptiveness of his account of the summer storm. These words add to the thrust and movement of his description. “Directly it begun to rain…rained like all fury…never see the wind blow so” (43). “…and the rain would thrash along by so thick….blast of wind..” (43+44). These descriptions keep the description moving and keeps the interest of the reader. They invoke common experiences that everyone has experienced. After reading these action words, the reader begins to develop a image of what it was like to be Huck at that point. This image is further aided by other factors.
The other factors that influence the image the reader perceives are: word use, literary devices, allusions to common experiences, and specific details. Some of the specific details include use of color and descriptions of the environment. Vivid descriptions such as,
“It would get so dark that it looked all blue-black outside, and lovely; and the rain would thrash along by so thick that the trees off a little ways looked dim and spider-webby; and here would come a blast of wind that would bend the trees down and turn up the pale underside of the leaves; and then a perfect ripper of a gust would follow along and set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just wild; and next, when it was just about the bluest and blackest — fst! It was as bright as glory, and you’d have a little glimpse of treetops a-plunging about away off yonder in the storm, hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as sin again in a second, and now you’d hear the thunder let go with an awful crash, and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling, down the sky towards the under side of the world, like rolling empty barrels down-stairs — where it’s long stairs and they bounce a good deal, you know” (44).
That one sentence encompasses all of the techniques and provides an excellent description. It uses personification, alliteration, allusions, personification, and others.
Huck uses several onomatopoeias in his description of the storm. In addition to painting a picture in the readers mind, because of his use of onomatopoeias, the reader can also experience and hear the scene and the storm as if he/she were actually there. Huck uses four words to describe how thunder sounded. The first is fst, “…when it was just about the bluest and blackest – fst! It was as bright as glory…” (44). The other three are: rumbling, grumbling, and tumbling. “…and now you’d hear the thunder let go with an awful crash, and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling, down the sky towards the under side of the world…” (44).
Huck then uses one simile in paricular to further exemplify the sound of the thunder and to create a better scene for the reader. “…tumbling, down the sky towards the under side of the world, like rolling empty barrels down-stairs — where it’s long stairs and they bounce a good deal, you know” (44). This simile enhances this description of the storm in a few ways. The last part, “…you know” (44) adds more character to the description. It is beginning to sound more like a child, Huck. Also, anyone can imagine what rolling barrels down a long set of stairs sound like and when the reader really thinks about it, he/she realizes that, that is what thunder sounds like.
Huck’s vivid description of thunder, both visually and audibly, add to his personality and allows the reader to experience a different side of Huck. Huck is not just a naive child who is oblivious to natural wonders. He is responsive to the beauty of the natural world about him. There is more to him then meets the eye. Huck shows the reader this by his choice of words and the way in which he describes the summer storm. His uses literary devices to his advantage and to further his points. Huck shows he is not a shallow character and can be serious if he wants to.