The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a picaresque novel written by Mark Twain published in 1884. The Huck’s narrative says itself autobiographical.

The scene is situated on the 1840, before the American Civil War. The main character lives in the Missouri. The narrator is a young boy who is called Huckleberry Finn. He is a Tom Sawyer’s friend and he is motherless orphan. His father, alcoholic and violent, comes back. He hears by his son the discovery of the treasure. He wants to get his hands on the treasure discovered by Tom and Huckleberry. So he wishes to get back his son whom he had abandoned. The child avoids his father and persuade him that he was murdered. Then he is on the roads with Jim, a runaway black slave who is wanted because we suspect him of being the murderer of Huck. They want to go in abolitionist north in raft. Lost on the river because of a storm, two swindlers save them and want to « sell » Jim to the Tom Sawyer’s uncle. Tom and Huck find themselves and they imagine projects to save Jim.

The narrator isat the bottom of the social ladder. He is a tramp and he doesn’t hesitate to lie, to steal. He is resourceful and he adapts himself to all the situations. He rejects the social values.

Moreover, this is a satirical and realistic novel. Indeed, the novel is realistic because Twain knows and lived what he writes, and reality is described. The subject is often funny but dirty and violence are also present. Futhermore, this is a satirical novel because the narrator meets representative characters of social category : two stiff middle-class persons, a man of wood, a slave, bandits, rich owner,… The innocent look of Huck shows the aberrations of the men, their prejudices, their cruelty, their cowardice, theire absurde conduct,… It is also a pessimistic novel because of the hypocrisy and the lies of men.

Have you ever read this novel?

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