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Huckleberry Finn has the great advantage of being written in
autobiographical form. Every scene in the book is given, not described, and the
result is a vivid picture of Western life in the past. Before the novel begins, Huck
Finn has led a life of absolute freedom. His alcoholic father was often missing and
never paid much attention to him. Since Huckís mother is dead he is not used to
following any rules. In the beginning, Huck is living with the Widow Douglas and her
sister, Miss Watson. Both women are fairly old and have no patience to raise a
rebellious boy like Huck Finn. They try to make an attempt to make Huck into what
they believe will be a better boy. Huck never really enjoys the life of manners,
religion, and education that the Widow and her sister impose upon him.
Huck decides to try and find freedom with his friend Tom Sawyer. A boy of
Huckís age, Tom, promises Huck and other boys of the town a life of adventure.
Huck really wants to join Tomís Gang because he feels that if he does join he will
escape the boring life he leads with the Widow Douglas. Tom Sawyer promises many
things, but unfortunately, such thing did not occur. Tomís adventures turned out
imaginary. Huck is disappointed that the adventures Tom promises are not real, so
along with the other members, he resigned from the gang.
Another person who tries to get Huckleberry Finn to change is Huckís father.
His father is very antisocial and wishes to do all of the civilizing effects that Widow
and Miss Watson have attempted to change in Huck. Pap is a mess: his hair is uncut
and hangs like vines in front of his face, he is unshaven, and his skin is very pale.
Papís looks reflects Huckís feelings as he demands that Huck quits school, stops
reading, and avoids church. Huck managed to stay away from his father for a while,
but Pap kidnaps him three or four months after Huck starts to live with the Widow
and takes him to a lonely cabin deep in the Missouri woods. Once again, Huck enjoys
the freedom that he had in the beginning of the book. Huck soon realizes that he will
have to escape from the cabin if he wishes to remain alive. As a result, Huck makes it
appear as if he was killed in the cabin while Pap was away. He leaves to go to a
remote island in the Mississippi River, Jacksonís Island.
After, he leaves his fatherís cabin Huck meets Miss Watsonís slave, Jim. Huck
found Jim on Jacksonís Island because the slave ran away because he overheard a
conversation that he will soon be sold to New Orleans. Huck begins to realize that
Jim has more talents and Intelligence than Huck. They begin to get to know
eachother as they float on a raft down the Mississippi River. Huck begins to enjoy
being with Jim and starts to care for him. In conclusion of chapter 11, Huck and
Jim are forced to leave Jacksonís Island because Huck discovers they are looking for
a runaway slave. They have a friendship that is unseperable as hey keep drifting
down the river as the novel continues. At the end of their journey, neither having
anything left to run from as Huckís father was dead and Jim was a free man. IT
would seem, then that Huck and Jim had run at thousand miles down the river and
ended up where they had started from.
Mark Twain is saying a lot of things in the story. First, the book stands by
firmly saying slavery is bad mostly because it is hypocritical. It is well supported
considering Huck is able to interact with Jim as a human being, while the southern
slave society treats Jim as an object. Furthermore, the southerner representations are
pale in comparison to Huckís wits and intelligence. For example, when the slave
catchers who are tricked into thinking Jim is Huckís small pox riddled father, and the
whole feud thing does not show much in the line of smarts for southern slave owners.
On a superficial level Huckleberry Finn might appear to be racist. The first time you
read the description of Jim it is a very negative description. Although Huck is not a
racist child, he has been raised by extremely racist individuals who have ingrained
some feelings of bigotry into his mind. In chapter six, Hucks father fervently objects
to the governments
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English-language films, Readers Digest, United Artists films, Picaresque novels, Huckleberry Finn, Huckleberry no Bken, Jim, Tom Sawyer, Huck, Mark Twain, Big River, The Adventures of Huck Finn
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