Quotation by Leslie Fiedler

Stripped of incidental ornaments, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are seen as the same dream dreamed twice over, the second time as nightmare; though, to be sure, the terror of the second dream is already at work in the first, whose euphoria persists strangely into the second. In both books, there is a pretended, a quasi-ritual death to the community and its moral codes; though in Tom Sawyer that death is a "lark" undertaken in childish pique, while in Huckleberry Finn it is a last desperate evasion, an act of self-defense. In both, there is a consequent spying on the community from cover to watch the effects of that death, the aftermath of regret: the childish dream of the suicide, who longs to be present at his own discovery, come true. In the one case, however, the spying is a prelude to a triumphant return, a revelation, in the other, to a further flight and concealment.
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