The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

 

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a well-written, classic piece in American literature. Not only is it a fun, exciting read but it contains a lot of important themes throughout the course of the story. The Pioneer decided to write a summary of the book for both students who need to read the book, people debating on whether or not to read it, or anyone who just wants to learn more about the book.

Main Characters:

Huckleberry Finn is 13 years old and lives in St. Petersburg, Missouri, a town on the Mississippi River. He is both the protagonist and the narrator of the book. He grows up without many close friends and is considered to be a social outcast in some situations. His father is the local drunk of St. Petersburg. He is a quick-witted, smart character despite the fact that he is formally uneducated. Huck can be very childish at times. He is an interesting and complex character. He likes to spend time with the few friends he has, like Jim and his imaginary friend, Tom Sawyer.

Tom Sawyer is Huck’s best friend. He is adventurous and creative. Tom has all of the personality traits that Huck wishes he had. Tom is the person Huck longs to be. Huck often justifies putting himself in certain situations by saying that Tom would do it, or that he wants to be as brave as Tom would be.

Jim is one of Huck’s friends. Jim is a runaway slave. Jim accompanies Huck as they travel down the Mississippi River throughout the majority of the book. Jim also has a very child-like nature and is a loyal friend. He knows how to get through tough situations and often provides Huck with sound advice.

Pap is Huck’s father. He is an alcoholic and is very abusive towards Huck, he even threatens to kill him. Pap never remembers much because he is almost always drunk. He doesn’t do a very good job of raising Huck, and teaches him that stealing is okay.

Widow Douglas and Miss Watson are sisters. They are very rich and live in a big, fancy house. They feel sorry for Huck and adopt him. They take care of him but Miss Watson has unrealistically high expectations of him. She scolds Huck a lot and tries to find all of his faults and correct him. She has a very strict set of rules for Huck to follow. Widow Douglas understands Huck a lot better. She is more lenient towards Huck when he does something wrong and tends to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Judge Thatcher is a judge who resides in St. Petersburg. He feels sympathy towards Huck and tries to improve Huck’s living situation by allowing Widow Douglas to adopt him. He understands Pap’s issues and tries to reform him. He also safeguards Huck’s money so Pap doesn’t steal it.

Why it’s Important: Huckleberry Finn is a very accurate portrayal of American in the mid 1800’s. It describes the It discusses issues such as racism and slavery and brings to light the consequences of basing your opinion solely on preconceived ideas rather than the truth. The book illustrates not only the injustice of slavery but how distorted the mentalities of slave owners were. Another important issue addressed in Huckleberry Finn is hypocrisy of civilized society at the time. Most of the people Huck and Jim encountered who were though of as civilized, were often the opposite. By the end of the book, Huck learns to distinguish between good and bad for himself, rather than just trusting what civilization tells him.

How it Ends: Miss Watson dies and as a result, Jim is set free, because she stated in her will that he could be free after she died. Tom gets shot and Huck falls asleep while he is waiting for a doctor to show up and treat Tom. Tom eventually recovers from his wounds. Tom finds out that his father passed away. Huck still has all of the money that he found at the beginning of the story. Tom and Huck decide to get away from civilization and travel west to look for more adventures.

Have you read Huckleberry Finn? If so, what did you think was the most important theme? Share in a comment below.

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Posted on November 5, 2013, in Lifestyle, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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