Literary Precedents for Suttree

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Because a river is central to this novel and because Suttree lives on a houseboat, readers may naturally be reminded of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). Suttree indeed participates in the same kind of basic, multiracial community that Huck and Jim achieve on their raft.

Suttree is also reminiscent of Walden (1854). Like Thoreau, Suttree chooses to live in natural environs, but on the edge of civilization. Neither repudiates society, and both occupy a middle ground from which they can observe nature and humanity.

With its emphasis on traveling, on altered states of consciousness, and on resistance to the establishment, this novel is also in the tradition of such Beat Generation literature as Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957).

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This section contains 121 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Suttree Study Guide
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