Monday, October 31, 2011

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

After his adventures with Tom Sawyer, Huck is now living with the Widow Douglas who tries to civilize the boy. Soon, his father comes to town and learns of Huck's new-found wealth, he takes the boy back home with him in the woods. However, after being beat by his father on many occasions, Huck fakes his death and takes off down the river to start a new life. On the way, Huck meets up with Jim, the former slave of the Widow Douglas' sister, who has run away fearing being sent down south. On their voyage down the river, Huck and Jim meet many new people and have many odd encounters that help Huck grow morally as a young man.

My Thoughts:
As you can likely assume from the "moral growth" comment at the end of the synopsis, I read this book for AP English. It was a nice story, but much of the story seemed to lack a clear direction for the plot to follow other than a journey down the river. This may have just been my perception of the book since we spread out the reading over many weeks, but I didn't find it particularly captivating until the very end. However, as we looked at the story from a literary view in my English class, Huck's development throughout the story is done very artfully, showing gradual growth instead of suddenly being "enlightened" into a moral person. Still, many of the characters bothered me by how ridiculous they were; not only the duke and king, but also Tom in the end of the book. It is definitely an appropriate book for an English class, but certainly not a book I would recommend for a casual read.

Questions for Thought:
1. Would you let Jim travel with you, knowing that in that time helping a runaway slave was a detestable action?

2. How would you get rid of the duke and king, if at all?

3. Would you let Tom make Jim's escape complicated and delayed, just to "do it right"?

Please leave your comments and answers!

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