Thesis: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

One of the best known and most successful books for both children and adults is "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," written by the American writer Mark Twain. The book is meant to describe the life of young Huckleberry Finn that goes through a series of adventures wanting to become break free from all the people that want to tutor him at some point or another of his young life. The novel also portrays the South and the traditions present during the time when slavery was legal in America.

Mark Twain is the pseudonym for Sam Clemens, a man born in a town on the Mississippi in 1835. "When I first saw him, I could see no promise in him,' recalled his pipesmoking mother. These were the days of the Wild West, of gunfights, of stagecoaches attacked by Red Indians." (Brown, Craig)

Unlike most typical writers that have lived nothing out of the ordinary, Sam had had a life worthy of being written for further generations to read. From an early age he felt that he should earn his own money instead of going to school. Despite the fact that he did not attend any school, he soon became fond of English literature. Consequent to reading great writers, he adapted the style of writing to the American society of his time and as a result he came up with several successful humorous stories.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn novel has been written as a sequel to the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The novel did not have the success that Mark Twain had expected it to have during its first days of publication. "Many of the novel's first reviewers found it disturbing and offensive." (Marx, Leo)

The characters of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer are present in both novels. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn begins with Huck depicting the chain of events which led him to stay in the house of widow Douglas.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ends with the two child protagonist, Huck and Tom, in possession of a treasure which Judge Thatcher decides to keep for them. In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck is now being raised by Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. He dislikes his new lifestyle and chooses to run away. However, it does not take long before Tom persuades him to return.

Unexpectedly, Huck's father comes into town, most probably with the thought of reclaim the money that Huck had found. As described by his son, Huck's father is a heavy drinker and a tyrant in his relationship with his only son.

After learning that his father had returned, Huck convinces the Judge to trade all of his money for a single dollar, so that his father will not get his fortune. Furious, Huck's Pap takes the dollar from his son and also wins a trial over the issue of legal tutoring. Huck is taken away by his Pap and locked into a cabin in the forest where he is constantly beaten. Not willing to take it anymore, Huck escapes and frames his death in order for his father not to search for him.

Wanting to hide from the rest of the town's people, Huck takes refuge on Jackson's island, where he accidentally stumbles upon Jim, a runaway slave. The two become friends, as they share common reasons for having escaped from their keepers. Although from different backgrounds and due to different motives, they are both rejected by society.

Huck is considered an uneducated backwards boy, constantly under pressure to conform to the "humanized" surroundings of society. Jim a slave that is not even considered as a real person, but as property. " (Williams, Ann)

Beside a good companion and a friend and in spite of his ignorance, Jim proves to have a good heart and shows common sense and a good deal of capacity to human nature. During their stay on the island a house floats by during a flood and Jim finds that Huck's dead Pap is in it, but does not tell Huck about the incident, willing to spare him from the dread of looking at his own father lying dead.

In an attempt to discover what has happened during the time that he had not been in town, Huck disguises himself as a girl and goes to town. He soon finds that both Pap and Jim had been suspected for Huck's death and that the people had decided to inspect Jackson's island to find the murderers. Hearing the news, Jim and Huck leave the island on a massive raft and start a journey downstream.

During the journey downstream they go through several incidents but always manage to evade people's attempts to capture them. Their new goal is to reach Cairo, from where they would eventually take the road towards the Free states.

Sadly, they miss Cairo after a thunderstorm separates them and brings along a fog which stops them from finding the city. The troubles follow as the two are separated again after a boat smashes their raft. Following the incident, Huck finds help at the Grangerford family and Jim hides in a close swamp. Huck and Jim are brought together again after a chain of events which leaves all the Grangerfords killed by a rival family.

The two move on downstream and find two crooks recognized as the Duke and the King. The crooks soon take command of the raft and take Jim and Huck with them in order to assist them in their dirty tricks. After visiting several towns and ripping off people there, the two crooks come up with a plan of stealing a heritage from three orphan girls. The Duke and the King come to town claiming that they are the uncles of the three Wilks girls. Everyone is fooled into believing the story, but Huck decides to reveal the fraud. Shortly after, the real uncles of the Wilks girls show up and the town brings them face-to-face with the crooks for a confrontation.

Huck and Jim escape, but their raft is soon recaptured by the crooks that decide to sell Jim as a slave. Huck is determined to set Jim again and walks into the town directly to Jim's present master. Huck happily finds that Jim's master is actually Tom Sawyer's aunt, Aunt Sally, and presents himself as being Tom Sawyer. Surprisingly, Tom Sawyer arrives, but he is willing to play Huck's tune and help him. The two attempt to free Jim, but, in their attempt, Tom is shot and Jim stays with him while Huck goes for help. The doctor assists Tom and brings Jim back to town as a slave. Aunt Polly arrives and the boys discover that Jim had been freed according to late Widow Douglas's testament. The novel ends with Huck realizing that it had not been a good idea to write a book and claiming that he would not have started to write if he knew how much time it would take.

The novel revolves around the relationship between Huckleberry Finn and Jim. The two came from a similar environment, with Huck almost having become his father's slave. However, the fact that Huck had been white made a great difference during the times in which slavery was a common practice in the South.

The journey downstream unites Jim and Huck, and they form an almost family-like relationship. "It was only on the raft floating down the Mississippi away from societal constraints that Huck was able to overcome the racist attitudes of his culture and understand Jim as a man." (O'Loughlin, Jim) Jim proves good capacities of understanding and advising Huck and the black man soon becomes the father that Huck never had.

In contrast to Jim, Pap is a thief and a crook that would stop at… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  (2009, February 4).  Retrieved December 10, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/adventures-huckleberry-finn-one/3794172

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"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."  Essaytown.com.  February 4, 2009.  Accessed December 10, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/adventures-huckleberry-finn-one/3794172.