Tuesday, January 26, 2016

[R] The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by: Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
(Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn #2)
by: Mark Twain


Of all the contenders for the title of The Great American Novel, none has a better claim than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Intended at first as a simple story of a boy's adventures in the Mississippi Valley - a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - the book grew and matured under Twain's hand into a work of immeasurable richness and complexity. More than a century after its publication, the critical debate over the symbolic significance of Huck's and Jim's voyage is still fresh, and it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor.

Yes, well, this was assigned to read for my American Literature II class, but I will still do a review. This book has quite a reputation and I need to express my thinking with these small words I am going to write and you are going to read. But before anything... I did read Tom Sawyer (in high school) and I knew what I was getting to with Huck, I thought it was simply boring, but turns out it was quite a journey.

The professor insisted that while I read, I had to take in consideration (for future references in class) some aspects of the whole book. Obviously, one of those was race. The whole controversy of this book is how many times Twain wrote the word "nigger", even for the hell of it. Some people are offended by that simple thing. People, the word might be offensive now, but those days? It was common! Anyways, other aspects were slavery, family/law, setting, language and the satire/realism. In this book we got some characters from the previous book, like Judge Thatcher and yes, Tom and Huck. But other important characters are Jim (obviously), the Widow and Huck's father. All those characters made something inside Huck so he would become what he will be in the next book (which I will NOT read).

The plot is quite simple. Huck has a "new" family with the Widow. He goes to school, prays, acts like a true gentleman and is finally a good boy. Then his father appears and screws everything. Huck's father wants the money Huck has (which came from the first book), doesn't want Huck going to school and finally, he steals Huck away from society. So, a few chapters in, Huck escapes his father and become a runaway by making his murder. Days later, he finds Jim. Jim is a Widow's slave and he ran away, with everyone thinking he killed Huck. Both of them begin the journey of going south by the river, so Jim could be free and Huck would have an adventure. Huck has issues along the way. He keeps wondering if he should turn in Jim, because after all he is property. But, basically, he decides not to because he became fond of him. Jim is just a slave that wants to be free and be reunited with his family and buying them one by one until they are all free.

Slavery is a tough subject in this book. But so are others. What about family and law? Why the law was fond of Huck's father and not Judge Thatcher and the Widow? One or both of them were prefect persons to be guardians of Huck. But no, new judge didn't know all the background (like he should have known) and gave Huck to his father, a drunk-good for nothing dude. The language was so annoying for me! I liked when Huck would talk, but damn, sometimes I didn't even understood Jim. It was giving me a hard time to deal with. The whole setting was the river. Which is the place were the division started, you know, north and south. I think the setting was quite revealing and pretty. And then, you have this sort of satire but telling the things how really are. Making fun of things and slapping the reality in your face. You see it now, right? *slaps you*

At the end, the book has this boring parts that would make me sleep. But I loved the adventure of the whole book! These characters would come up with so many stupid things that you would doubt of the realness that actually comes with it. Three stars, because I don't love classics. I just like them.

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