The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) by Mark twain, one of the greatest American authors of all time and a humorist, was set in the town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. Not to mention that Twain was born in Florida, a small village in Missouri, through this novel he directly attacked the traditions of the south held during the time.
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The Huckleberry Finn starts with familiarizing us with events of the novel that preceded it i.e. The Adventure of Tom sawyer. At the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, a poor boy with a drunken bum for a father, and his friend Tom Sawyer, a middle-class boy with an imagination too active for his own good, found a robbers stash of gold. As a result of his adventure, Huck gained quite a bit of money, which Judge Thatcher held for him in trust. Huck was adopted by the Widow Douglas, a kind but stifling woman who lives with her sister, the self-righteous Miss Watson.
However, Huck being dissatisfied with his new civilized life of church and school tries to run away but his friend Tom convinces him to stay put so that he could join Toms new robbers gang along with the other local boys. Everything was going perfect in Hucks life until his drunkard father Pap reappears and demands his custody and the money. The Judge thatcher and the Widow try to gain court custody of Huck, but a new judge in town refuses to separate Huck from his father. Pap steals Huck away from the Widow’s house and takes him to a log cabin. At first Huck enjoys the cabin life, but after receiving frequent beatings, he decides to escape. When Pap goes into town, Huck seizes the opportunity. He seeks his way out of the log cabin, kills a pig, spreads the blood as if it were his own, takes a canoe, and floats downstream to Jackson’s Island. There he met Miss Watsons runaway slave Jim.
Huck and Jim soon learn that men are coming to search Jackson’s Island, and the two fugitives escape down the river on a raft. Jim’s plan is to reach the Illinois town of Cairo, and from there, he can take the Ohio River up to the free states. The plan troubles Huck and his conscience. However, Huck continues to stay with Jim as they travel, despite his belief that he is breaking all of society and religion’s tenets. Huck’s struggle with the concept of slavery and Jim’s freedom continues throughout the novel.
Huck and Jim encounter several characters during their flight, including a band of robbers aboard a wrecked steamboat and two Southern “”genteel”” families who are involved in a bloody feud. The only time that Huck and Jim feel that they are truly free is when they are aboard the raft. This freedom and tranquility are shattered by the arrival of the duke and the king, who commandeer the raft and force Huck and Jim to stop at various river towns in order to perform confidence scams on the inhabitants. The scams are harmless until the duke and the king pose as English brothers and plot to steal a family’s entire inheritance. Before the duke and the king can complete their plan, the real brothers arrive. In the subsequent confusion, Huck and Jim escape and are soon joined by the duke and the king.
Disappointed at their lack of income, the duke and the king betray Huck and Jim, and sell Jim back into slavery. When Huck goes to find Jim, he discovers that Jim is being held captive on Silas and Sally Phelps’ farm. The Phelps think Huck is their visiting nephew, Tom Sawyer, and Huck easily falls into the role of Tom. Tom Sawyer soon arrives and, after Huck explains Jim’s captivity, Tom takes on the guise of his own brother, Sid. After dismissing Huck’s practical method of escape, Tom suggests they invent an elaborate plan to free Jim. Tom’s plan is haphazardly based on several of the prison and adventure novels he has read, and the simple act of freeing Jim becomes a complicated circus with rope ladders, snakes, and mysterious messages.
When the escape finally takes place, a pursuing farmer shoots Tom in the calf. Because Jim will not leave the injured Tom, Jim is again recaptured and taken back to the Phelps farm. At the farm, Tom reveals the entire scheme to Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas. Readers learn that Miss Watson has passed away and freed Jim in her will, and Tom has been aware of Jim’s freedom the entire time. At the end of the novel, Jim is finally set free and Huck ponders his next adventure away from civilization.
The entire novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is written in the first person and narrated by Huckleberry Huck Finn. Twain uses dialect English throughout the novel which helped to create Hucks Characterization. I also think that it gave the novel an authentic, period feel and helped to create a sense of place as well. I thought the characterization was very good in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck is very real throughout the novel. The other main character is Jim, a black slave Huck escapes his father and goes on the run. Jims characterization comes through Hucks eyes and I think Twain did a really good job to put it together. There has been critics about the novel such as Twain use of the Nigger and Jim being characterized as a comic clown. I completely disagree with this criticism. Since The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn was written in 1844 and was set between the time period before that the use of the word nigger to describe slaves like Jim is probably quite realistic. Huck is no great thinker and is a bit simple. His impression of Jim is realistic.
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