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Mark Twain in China$
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Selina Lai-Henderson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789646

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789646.001.0001

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(p.123) Epilogue
Mark Twain in China

Selina Lai-Henderson

Stanford University Press

In the final chapter of Huckleberry Finn, Huck concluded that he “got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.” While Huck’s refusal to be “sivilized” speaks of Twain’s own skepticism about white Americans’ construction of the term, the epilogue will present a somewhat different picture of what “sivilization” means when Huck Finn is put into different Chinese contexts, i.e. Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Tibet. It concludes with an overview of the history and nature of Chinese culture and the frontier, and how it thereby influences the understanding of Huck Finn in China. It suggests that, however ironic, the brilliance and lasting popularity of Twain’s work lies in it being effectively used to suit different political implications in politically-conflicting regions.

Keywords:   Huckleberry Finn, Aunt Sally, sivilize, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, frontier

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