The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a sequel to the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It’s in Tom Sawyer that Huck first appears but this book definitely can be read as a standalone. I read this book as a standalone since I am yet to read Tom Sawyer completely. A story about a boy from a Mississippi River Town recounts his adventures when he travels down the river with a runaway slave named Jim. The setting of the book is rustic and it takes place in the nineteenth century before the Civil War in America.
The novel is about friendship, identity, racism, freedom, and war. The gradual change in the character of Huck Finn is so interesting. This novel by Mark Twain is considered to be The Great American Novel. I studied Mark Twain in my American Literature class in college and I always wanted to read it because it’s one of a kind. It’s the first novel of American literature which is actually written in American vernacular. The language of the descriptions and dialogues is the way Americans actually speak. Before this novel American writers imitated the European style of writing and language. It was a revolutionary novel of the time.
The novel sheds light on the topic of identity and race. The novel since its publication has been controversial. The novel though is anti-racism; it is believed by many to be racially insensitive and stereotyping towards the African American community. The use of the word ‘nigger’ is offending and vulgar and there are editions where that word has been replaced. While reading the book it does seem too much, a little crude maybe but you have to consider the time it was written in as well. It has a pretty good pace and managed to keep me intrigued by the unfolding of the story.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is such an important novel because of its content. The book has managed to be lighthearted and witty even while dealing with the heavy theme of racism. The characters are intriguing and the plot moves ahead at a good pace and it never gets dull. Honestly, it took some time for me to finish the novel even when I liked it like it is the case when I am reading any classic but it is definitely a good read.
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