Huck Finn Essay

811 words - 3 pages

THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN IS A CLASSIC The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has memorable characters, action-packed adventure, and wildly funny humor. But is it a classic? The answer is a resounding "yes"! The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is a classic, because it has passed the test of time, is a serious work, is critically acclaimed, and has enjoyed world-wide popularity while maintaining a current interest level. While many novels are popular for a time, a classic novel transcends one era. In May of 1885, the American debut of the book, Century Magazine stated that it had a vivid humor, and gave a remarkable description of Western life (Perry 2). The December, 1959, New York Times critic wrote that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was the most American of American books, and that no other American novel has been so read and examined (Podhoretz 4). In 1985, ABC TV "Nightline" did a news special of the centennial of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ("Twain" 3). It is reviewed in classic collections of novels such as The American Novel written in 1960, and Twelve Great American Novels written in 1967. Clearly, this novel has passed the test of time. Not only has this novel been enjoyed for decades, it is a serious work of literature. One of the issues the novel addresses is slavery. By using the point of view of simple-minded Huck, Twain satirizes the American viewpoint of slavery. He makes a most devastating comment on civilization in the scene where Huck struggles to decide whether to return Jim to Miss Watson (Podhoretz 2). As the book progresses Huck realizes the humaness of Jim and is ultimately willing to go to hell to set him free. This novel is also a valuable record of an American way of life. It is a snapshot of a whole geographical region and its people (The Hartford Courant 2). By addressing the issue of slavery and painting a vivid picture of the American way of life, Twain has created a serious work of literature. Twain's serious work of literature has received widespread critical acclamation because of its humor, use of dialect, and its style. The novel is universally praised for its use of comic exaggeration. It is...

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