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Twain's Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essay

3081 words - 12 pages

Research Paper on 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’s.  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’s 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...

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