I loved this book even more than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, because it was clearly the more mature of the two. The objections that got it challenged and the changes I have heard to editions in the US are shocking. These wrong things happened, and if anything, Huck teaches us that an uneducated Mississippi boy can see through all that, and we, as modern citizens in this world, should have an even easier time. Huckleberry Finn is a reminder that this should never happen again.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is another story of racism in the Deep South, this time in the 1840s--the granddaddy of To Kill a Mockingbird, if you will. Huck Finn is a boy who, as the son of the town drunk, is allowed to live far from the reaches of polite society. This means that he?s free to do whatever he wants?fish in the river, sleep in the woods, answer to no one. When a wealthy widow decides to adopt him, Huck gives it his best shot and tries to mend his ways, even though the widow?s misguided kindness is almost more than he can bear. But when his unsavory father shows up again, Huck knows it?s time to hit the road?or in his case, the river, the mighty Mississippi that flows to freedom. And joining Huck in an even more desperate bid for an even more tangible freedom is Jim, a runaway slave who has no choice but to pin his hopes on a mere boy who, even if he is poor and ?uncivilized,? is still the product of a society that sees very strongly in terms of black and white. Huck and Jim?s journey by raft downriver brings surprises for both of them?after encounters with crafty kings, feuding families, slave-hunters, and shipwrecks, it?s impossible to remain unchanged no matter how deeply the rules of their society are ingrained. Huck Finn?s story was written over one-hundred years ago; the language (particularly where race is concerned) is true to its time and has spurred non-stop controversy over the years. Author Mark Twain?s depictions of slavery, poverty, superstition, and ignorance reveal all the injustices of the pre-Civil War south, but Huck?s gradual realizations and understandings?not to mention his utterly original down-to-earth, literal, take-it-as-it-comes, comic observations?have made The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a relevant, important, and completely entertaining work of literature.
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