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Critical Analysis: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn



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    Tim Lively Setting: Late 1800? along the Mississippi River Plot: When the book begins, the main character, Huck Finn possesses a large sum of money. This causes his delinquent lifestyle to change drastically. Huck gets an education, and a home to live in with a caring elderly woman (the widow). One would think that Huck would be satisfied. Well, he wasn?. He wanted his own lifestyle back. Huck? drunkard father (pap), who had previously left him, was also not pleased with Huck? lifestyle. He didn? feel that his son should have it better than he. Pap tries to get a hold of the money for his own uses, but he fails. He proceeds to lock Huck up in his cabin on the outskirts of town. Huck then stages his kidnapping and subsequent killing, and takes a canoe across to Jackson? Island in the Mississippi River. There he comes across a runaway slave, Jim, and the two decide to leave the area. Huck leaves to avoid his father, and Jim leaves to escape a false charge of murder. The rest of the story follows all of their exciting and action packed adventures down the Mississippi River. Themes Slavery is a big theme in this story. Mark Twain was obviously against slavery because it is hypocritical. Throughout the book we see Huck interacting with Jim as human to human, while everyone else treats him like a piece of property. He was especially against the Christians who promoted slavery, since it is obviously wrong and against Christian ideals. Twain also shows the hypocrisy in another theme, religion. In one scene, the Shepardsons and the Gangerfords are listening to a sermon about brotherly love, and in the next scene they are shooting and killing each other. This is exactly the kind of behavior that twain didn? like. However, the main theme in this book is breaking free. He urges his readers to do the right thing, not necessarily what everyone else is doing. He illustrates this ideal with Huck. Most everyone else thought of Jim, along with blacks in general, as something less than human. Huck knew this was wrong, and his actions followed this when he rescued Jim. Main characters Huckleberry Finn Huck is the narrator of the story and for the most part is honest to us, the readers. He dreads the rules and conformities of society such as religion, school, and everything else that will eventually make him civilized. A big debate surrounds Huck on whether he changes or not throughout the story. Huck, in the beginning, seems very set in the south? anti-black ways, however, Huck states that he will go to hell to keep Jim out of slavery. At this point it seems like he does change, but at the end of the book, Huck plays yet another joke on Jim and seems as though any change was temporary. Huck has little sense of humor, which is ironical, considering the book is satirical. Twain has also been criticized about Huck? character, in that it seems as though Huck knows too much for his age. In one of the movies Huck was about seventeen, in another he was about eight. I figure from the book that Huck is probably around the age of twelve or thirteen. Other traits of Huck show that he is sensible, trustworthy, tricky, deceiving, realist, yet imaginative. Jim Jim starts off the book as the Widow Watson? slave, however, because she is going to sell Jim off he decides to run away. In an ironic twist, Jim meets Huck Finn, who Jim is charged with murdering. Twain has been criticized for making Jim too stereotypical in the sense that he is easily tricked by Tom and Huck. Jim is extremely superstitious, dependable, very trusting of Huck, strong and hopeful. My Analysis In my opinion this is probably one of the best books ever written. The way that Mark Twain uses almost all of the literary elements in this novel make it one of the most fun to read. His use of satire makes this a very comical look of the south. His use of surprise contributes to the action of the story. Used along with suspense, it makes the book read very fast. The way Twain writes most of his novels is very fun and lighthearted, however some of them are very serious. This novel is written with certain flair and attitude that, I think, make it stick out as an incredible book. Some other people feel that the book is not well written at all and needs to be rewritten by someone else. They also think that Twain doesn? use very many literary techniques when he writes. These people need to realize that when they read a novel, that overwhelming sensation to keep reading to see what happens next is suspense. When something happens that you thought wouldn?, that is surprise. All in all, this novel has been one of the best I have ever read, and I know I will end up reading it again because it is so good. -BibliographyThe End Works Cited page ?iterary techniques of Mark Twain?15 pars. 21 Jan. 1998 Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Adventures in American Literature, Book Reports

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