Book Review: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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View the entire collection of 12 and Beyond’s book reviews here, and be sure to look out for more monthly reviews this Fall. 


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is quite the read. And Mark Twain is quite the author.

Huck Finn was originally assigned to me as Summer Reading for school, and thus, I wish I had the chance to read Tom Sawyer previous to this. However, from this book alone, the relationship held by Tom and Huck can is clearly, well, peculiar. Fortunately, the novel does a beautiful job at incorporating various themes and qualities which make the novel so much more than just an adventure story.

The novel tackles so many different aspects of Finn’s life, that he as a character becomes so three-dimensional, and relatable in so many ways (although often to the extremes). For example, his paining relationship with his father, and how easily Huck became inculcated into his Father’s lifestyle, leaving all that truly mattered behind him, was difficult to read. Furthermore, Huck’s struggle with his inner morality in response to the influences of society portrays him as a person of true character.

In all, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a story of careless adventure at its surface, and one of friendship and humility at its depths.

Huck Finn was simply enjoyable to read. The passionate (yet questionable) friendship of Tom and Huck brings lightheartedness into the novel, and through such developments, raises ideas about independent thinking and reality, but also of imagination and innocence.

Overall, there’s a lot to be learned from the novel. Twain wonderfully tackles real-world issues, the primary one being slavery, in an especially paradoxical way. Through their journeys together, Huck begins to view Jim, his old family’s slave, as a person not unlike himself, and of good intent and heart. They find commonality, and yet society’s viewpoints still manage to impress themselves upon Huck, like how he still considers Jim to be property. This leaves the reader in quite a state of consideration.

While reading, I initially thought the interactions with the fraud kings to be unnecessary to the development of the plot, but in the end, it speaks wonders about integrity, a quality which Huck gains when realizing their works were simply morally wrong.

In the end, the novel comes down to pure love and devotion, something that Jim understands, and expresses upon Tom and Huck. With so many obstacles facing their way, like religious beliefs discussed early on in the novel, the two truly come along way in improving their perspectives on the world around them at their core values, a true masterpiece.

Twain finds ways to criticize society through the best means, coming from a point of innocence to appeal to the reader with empathy and relation. The writing as a whole (told as if Huck was writing the novel) is so genial, yet riddled with hidden, underlying messages. The parallels created have magnanimous effect, and are truly remarkable.

Therefore, what originates as an elaborate, seemingly unnecessary adventure that turns out to be humorous and dumbfounding, results in the end as a extraordinary bond between two very unlikely friends, breaking boundaries in the best way possible.

Thank you.

Gabe

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