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My Alltime Favourite Book
Dec 27, 2004 11:36 PM 6087 Views
(Updated Dec 28, 2004 12:00 AM)




To start with, this is not a suspense thriller and there are no big twists or turns in this great work of art. Still, let me warn the readers that I am planning to discuss the plot in detail in this review. However, its not going to kill any of the thrill of reading The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, a true masterpiece

Adventures of Tom sawer was a big success and that enabled the author: Mark Twain to come up with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a kind of a sequel from the earlier one. Huckleberry Finn was a friend of Tom Sawer, who had helped Tom a lot in the first novel. He was an orphan, tortured by a tyrannical father and was too happy to escape from him and get adopted at the end of ?Adventures of Tom Sawer?. This character was so popular that it prompted the author to come out with a novel with Huck Finn at the center.

The Plot

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes off where Adventures of Tom Sewer ended. However, the big change from the earlier novel is that Tom Sawer takes a back seat and he makes an appearance (lets say a dramatic guest appearance) towards the climax. This novel revolves around two characters: Huck and Jim, a Negro slave.

Both Huck and Jim are trying to escape from the village?. Huck from the fear of his father and partly due to the monotony of a civilized life and Jim from the fear of being sold to some other master. Luckily for them, they come across a raft, on which they keep on rafting down the Mississippi, where Huck expects to set Jim free in some state, where Negroes have freedom from slavery.

This novel narrates the various incidents along the way, where they come across several other people and their experiences with them. Some of them are downright funny and some are extremely heart touching. We see all aspects of human life.

Memorable Subplots

Probably the highlight was the story on the King and Duke (obviously two frauds), who were trying to take advantage of these two naïve kids by demanding to be treated as royalty. They try several antiques to cheat people out of their money and use these two kids for fulfilling their tasks. Tragically, they sell of the Negro at the hands of others, forgetting the help they had obtained from him!!

Then there was an episode on a feud that was going on at a village. Two families have gone on killing each other for generations. They are still killing, but nobody knows why!! The story ends when all the family members form both family, including a kid who was Huck?s friend, die. This left a big impact on me as a reader, wondering why people keep fighting without knowing what to fight for????

The chapters leading to climax are really funny after Tom Sawer comes in. Jimhas been kept captive at his uncle?s place and he and Huck try to set Jim free. There was a very simple way to set Jim free as no one was guarding the room and they could have simply opened the door at night. But Tom is not happy with this idea and they want to do everything the hard way. The process takes days which involves writing meaningless messages by an illiterate, digging a tunnel, sending anonymous letter etc. That again brings a big question. Are we not very often doing things the hard way just to feel great about it?

The Twists in the Tail

The climax had two big twists.

  1. Tom knew something. Had he revealed that, they need not have gone through the entire process of setting Jim free. But still he kept it a secret just for his sense of adventure. He ended up with a bullet shot on his thighs!

  2. Jim knew something and did not tell Huck. Why? Because he was afraid that he would have lost the company of Huck.

Creative Writing

He book talks in detail on the various superstitions held by the kids of that day and has really explained them in a humorous manner.

The book is written in 3-4 different spoken English versions, without dragging them too far. This was done mostly to give the feeling of authenticity. This brings out the skill of the writer.

Mark Twain has really written a masterpiece, which is smooth and fluid as the water passes in Mississippi and he narrates great philosophical ideas with very simple stories. Even though e move from one story to the others, we don?t feel a sudden change or any such thing.

Truly for me, this is the best fiction written in last 200 years.

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Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain