Mme. Bookling ~'s Reviews > The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
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Jun 07, 07

Read in January, 2006

How does one go until age 28 before reading this? I have no idea--but I was delighted WAY beyond expectation and learned so much when I read this and taught it to my students.

Tom Sawyer was Twain's children’s "adult" book with no real social message; Huck Finn was his adult "children's" book, therefore--I enjoyed it much more than Tom Sawyer. Rich with social awareness, it was fascinating (especially, and it's a must) to read the Norton Critical Edition of the book which highlighted how Twain lost his train of thought for years and years. It also highlights some deleted chapters from the original manuscript--which poses for a very thought-provoking discussion.

It's easier if you read it from wikipedia--but it's all the stuff I learned and love!!

“Twain initially conceived of the work as a companion to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer that would follow Huck Finn through adulthood. Beginning with a chapter he had deleted from the earlier novel, Twain began work on a manuscript he originally titled Huckleberry Finn's Autobiography. Twain worked on the manuscript off and on for the next several years, ultimately abandoning his original plan of following Huck's development into adulthood. He appeared to have lost interest in the manuscript while it was in progress, and set it aside for several years. After making a trip down the Mississippi, Twain returned to his work on the novel. Upon completion, the novel's title closely paralleled its predecessor's: "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade)" [1]”

It is commonly said that the beginning and ending of the book, the parts in which Tom Sawyer appears as a character, detract from its overall impact. Others feel Tom serves to start the story off and to bring it to a conclusion, and that Tom's ridiculous schemes have the paradoxical effect of providing a framework of 'reality' around the mythical river voyage. Much of the boyhood innocence and romantic depictions of nature occur in the first sixteen chapters and the last five, while the middle of the story shows the harsh realities of antebellum society.”

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