Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn



Research paper on Mark Twain’s Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about a
young boy’s coming of age in the Missouri of the mid-1800^Òs. It
is the story of Huck’s struggle to win freedom for himself and
Jim, a Negro slave. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was Mark
Twain^Òs greatest book, and a delighted world named it his
masterpiece. To nations knowing it well - Huck riding his raft
in every language men could print - it was America’s
masterpiece (Allen 259). It is considered one of the greatest
novels because it conceals so well Twain’s opinions within what
is seemingly a child’s book. Though initially condemned as
inappropriate material for young readers, it soon became prized
for its recreation of the Antebellum South, its insights into
slavery, and its depiction of adolescent life.
The novel resumes Huck’s tale from the Adventures of Tom
Sawyer, which ended with Huck^Òs adoption by Widow Douglas. But
it is so much more. Into this book the world called his
masterpiece, Mark Twain put his prime purpose, one that
branched in all his writing: a plea for humanity, for the end of
caste, and of its cruelties (Allen 260).
Twain, whose real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born in
Florida, Missouri, in 1835. During his childhood he lived in
Hannibal, Missouri, a Mississippi river port that was to become a
large influence on his future writing. It was Twain’s nature to
write about where he lived, and his nature to criticize it if he
felt it necessary. As far his structure, Kaplan said,
In plotting a book his structural sense was weak; intoxicated
by a hunch, he seldom saw far ahead, and too many of his stories
peter out from the author’s fatigue or surfeit. His wayward
techniques came close to free association. This method served
him best after he had conjured up characters from long ago, who
on coming to life wrote the narrative for him, passing from
incident to incident with a grace their creator could never
achieve in manipulating an artificial plot (Kaplan 16).

His best friend of forty years William D. Howells, has this to
say about Twain’s writing. So far as I know, Mr. Clemens is the
first writer to use in extended writing the fashion we all use in
thinking, and to set down the thing that comes into his mind
without fear or favor of the thing that went before or the thing
that may be about to follow (Howells 186).
The main character, Huckleberry Finn, spends much time in the
novel floating down the Mississippi River on a raft with a
runaway slave named Jim. Before he does so, however, Huck spends
some time in the fictional town of St. Petersburg where
a number of people attempt to influence him. Huck^Òs feelings
grow through the novel. Especially in his feelings toward his
friends, family, blacks, and society. Throughout the book, Huck
usually looks into his own heart for guidance. Moral intuition
is the basis on which his character rests.
Before the novel begins, Huck Finn has led a life of absolute
freedom. His drunken and often missing father has never paid
much attention to him; his mother is dead and so, when the novel
begins, Huck is not used to following any rules. In the
beginning of the book Huck is living with the Widow Douglas and
her sister, Miss Watson. Both women are fairly old and are
incapable of raising a rebellious boy like Huck Finn.
However, they attempt to make Huck into what the y believe will
be a better boy. The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and
allowed she would sivilize me; but it rough living in the house
all the time considering how dismal regular and decent the widow
was in all her ways^Ô (Twain 11). This process includes making
Huck go to school, teaching him various religious facts, and
making him act in a way that the women find socially acceptable.
In this first chapter, Twain gives us the first direct example
of communicating his feelings through Huck Finn: ^ÓAfter supper,
the Widow Douglas got out her book and learned me about
Moses...By and bye she let it out that Moses