The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain. Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, led one of the most exciting and adventuresome of literary lives. Raised in the river town of Hannibal, Missouri, Twain had to leave school at age twelve to seek work. He was successively a journeyman printer, a steamboat pilot, a halfhearted Confederate soldier (no more than a few weeks), and a prospector, miner and reporter in the western territories. His experiences furnished him with a wide knowledge of humanity, as well as with the perfect grasp of local customs and speech, which exhibits itself so well in his writing. With the publication in 1865 of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Twain gained national attention as a frontier humorist, and the best-selling Innocents Abroad solidified his fame. But it was not until Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that the literary establishment recognized him as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce.
Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Mark Twain grew more and more pessimistic-an outlook not alleviated by his natural skepticism and sarcasm. From this last period, only the stories The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and The Mysterious Stranger match his earlier work in brilliance. Though his fame continued to widen-Yale and Oxford awarded him honorary degrees-Twain spent his last years in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about “the damned human race.” Characters
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- Tom Sawyer- Tom is a friend of Huckleberry Finn. Tom has an extraordinary imagination.
- Huckleberry Finn – Huck is the main character of the story. His mother is dead and his father is a drunk and abuses him.
- Jim – Jim is the slave of Miss Watson. He is very superstitious and believes in witches.
- The King – The King is a bum that, after hearing the other bum say that he was a duke, said that he was the King. Huck and Jim just go along with it so it would not start trouble.
- The Duke – The Duke is a bum. He pretends that he is the rightful Duke of Bilgewater.
Huckleberry Finn is a child around the age of 14. He lives along the Mississippi River with Miss Watson. She is his guardian because his mother is dead and his father is a drunk. His father abuses him. When Huck’s father comes to town and hears that his son is going to inherit six thousand dollars, he wants custody of Huck. Every once in a while he will get drunk and argue with the judge. Finally, Huck’s father takes Huck back. He runs away and makes it look like he was killed while his father was out. He took a boat and went floating down the Mississippi.
He stops Jackson’s Island thinking that he was going to live there. He finds Miss Watson’s slave, Jim on the island. She was going to sell Jim so he ran away. Jim was scared to death because he thought that Huck was a ghost. Everyone thought that he was dead. Huck went ashore, disguised, to find out if anyone was looking for them. He found out that they were going to go to the island to look for Jim. They immediately left the island. They had many adventures while floating down the river towards Jim’s freedom. They met two bandits who claimed that they were a Duke and a King. These bandits scammed every town they came across for money.
At one point they get discovered for being frauds claiming that they were the brothers of a dead man and came to get their share in his will. Huck escapes and later runs into the Duke and the King again. They use a paper they made it one of their stops to suggest that Jim was a runaway. They sold him for 40 dollars. Huck is determined to set Jim free again. He goes to the farm where Jim is held captive and is mistaken for Tom Sawyer but goes along with it to find out about Jim. Later on Tom comes to the house and covers for Huck by saying that he was Sid Sawyer and they wanted to surprise them. As time passes, Tom and Huck make plans to set Jim free. Huck figures out a simple plan to help their friend. But Tom, with his extraordinary imagination, wasn’t satisfied one bit.
He’s devised a plan that was more dangerous and consisted of many unnecessary elements. Huck went along with it anyway to make Tom happy. The night that they act on the plan, Tom was shot in the leg and they were all chased by men with guns in the dark. They headed for the boat. They all got on and decided that they better get some help for Tom. Huck stopped at the shore a little way down the river and found a doctor. Huck fell asleep and it was morning when he woke up. He shoved offshore on the raft and ran into his “uncle”. His “uncle” brought him back home and asked where “Sid”(Tom) was and Huck told him that he was in town. He told him that they heard the gunshots the night before and went after them. Tom didn’t return that day and his aunt sat up all night waiting for him.
In the morning, the doctor comes along with Tom and Jim. Jim was tied up. The doctor said that this was a runaway and that he helped him take care of Tom so they wouldn’t punish him so harshly. As the time went by, Tom got better and told his aunt the whole story about their plan to free Jim, thinking that they had freed him. He didn’t know that Jim was recaptured. Everybody talked about it and Tom said that he was legally free, because in Miss Watson’s will, she set Jim free and she had died two months before. So it turned out that they were risking their lives to free a free man. Jim got 40 dollars for helping the doctor take care of Tom and he was a free man. Tom’s aunt and uncle adopted Huck to “civilize” him. Jim tells Huck that his father is dead. Therefore, Huck can go back home and claim the six thousand with no problem. Analysis This book was written in a time of racial discrimination and slavery. Because of that fact, I think that the author, Mark Twain, was against racial injustice. I can imagine that the material was very risky to write. It was a very controversial subject.
I don’t know if Mark Twain was an abolitionist, but the ideas in the book might suggest it. He could have just been writing an “adventure” which is also suggested by the title of the book. This message of anti-slavery is very important because there should not have been any slavery or racial discrimination. It shows the stupidity of the human race and what we should be ashamed of. What we should be ashamed of in the past and the present. There is still racial injustice in our modern society today. So, what does that tell you about our race and our society? Now we have problems with sexual discrimination. My Opinion I think that this book was written very well.
The message was demonstrated throughout the entire story by Huck’s loyalty to Jim, and Jim’s loyalty to Huck. I think that this story about a young boy, his journey, and his adventures along the way was one of the first great novels to speak in a truly American voice. The way that he wrote in slang dialects is incredible. This is a great book and I think that it should be a reference for many writers of all kinds. He told a believable story with a twist. This book will be remembered for a long time and be read by generations and generations and will always be considered a wonderful story and also a piece of history.
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