Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The story begins in a fictional town named St. Petersburg, Missouri. The time frame is believed to be just around the time of the American Civil War. The main protagonist, Mr. Huckleberry “Huck” Finn is a young man placed under the guardianship of Ms. Douglas.
One day he manages to escape the confines of Ms. Douglas’s home and goes on a run with his new-found friend Thomas “Tom” Sawyer, who has amassed a lot of wealth through his past adventures. Huck’s father “Pap” introduced into the story.
He is revealed to be a disruptive alcoholic who has eyes on Huck’s wealth. Pap manages to get legal custody of Huck.
They both move to a small cabin in Illinois. The cruel treatment of Pap and his drunken rage forces Huck to stage his death and manages to escape. He reunites with a runaway slave named Jim and the for a close bond. Jim plans on moving to the free city Cairo.
In the meanwhile, Huck disguises himself as a girl and goes to town. There he learns that a reward declared for the capture of Jim, who suspected of Huck’s murder. Because of the impending threat of a search party both the friends decide to use their raft and look for Ohio. However, they get lost on their way and end up in Kentucky.
On their travels, they befriend two white boys. Their sole agenda is to cause disruption wherever they go and end up conning Huck by selling Jim. Huck then decides to take matters into his hands. To free Jim, Huck has to impersonate Tom as the owners of Jim are his uncle and aunt.
Tom also arrives on the scene and impersonates his younger brother. In the mayhem that ensues, Tom gets a bullet in the leg for his troubles as it revealed that Jim was a free man all along.
Creating a perpetual impact on literature
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn received some criticism by social activists because of the frequent use of the term “nigger.” However, it is important to realize here that this book does not support racism or slavery in any way. Instead, it discusses ideas that oppose it.
Younger readers might find it difficult to understand the strategy employed by Mr. Twain to show racism as meaningless and stupid.
As the book was amongst the first in American literature written in vernacular English, its language sometimes considered as crude. The final chapters of the book are also found to be a disappointing conclusion to what seemed to be an enticing tale.
Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Powers has shared his point of view about this book in the biography of Mark Twain. He claims that the book is a “master class” and conceived as such despite the disappointment of the ending. Louisa May Alcott has also criticized this book and thinks that it does not hold any value. The book fails to deliver the intended message.
Whatever the critics may say, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a part of our historical literature and given its due consideration.
Review and opinion
All American literature comes from a book written by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. “With these words, Hemingway expressed his admiration for this adventure novel in which the reader is, wrapped in humor, with great themes that always have interested man: freedom, friendship, and loyalty but also money, interests, and power.
With the help of colorful characters and sometimes comical situations, occasionally tragic, Twain reflects with the sharpness that irony provides the best and worst of human behavior trapping the reader from the first page.
As with the masterpieces of universal literature, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” admits readings at various levels. The child and youth reader will enjoy the adventures of Huck and Jim, with their cunning to survive in adverse circumstances and with the funniest scenes in which they immersed.
The adult reader Twain is forced to reflect on the value of freedom, the cruelty of humans, the pain of loneliness and the meaning of life.
A book of unforgettable charm and ideal reading for the summer.
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