Title: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884 book)
Author: Mark Twain
Genres: Classic, Fiction, Young Adult, Adventure, Academic
Rating: 4.2 stars
“The average man don’t like trouble and danger.”
Plot (See Goodreads for brief summary)
This was not my cup of tea. I often struggle reading classics and following the plot thoroughly, and this was adventure after adventure with Huck & Jim and any other people, or ‘rapscallions’ that came along the way. But I loved the Huck and how his thought processes would be narrated. This novel deals with concepts such as racism, slavery, the morality between right and wrong – which evidently proved the hypocrisy of the presumably ‘civilized’ society that Huck wanted to escape from, among others.
As a reader, we can see how Huck, despite being in his teen and most rebellious years, grows into a more mature person by rejecting the beliefs imposed by society and going with his guts. It made me question the issues he had to face at the same time. I loved how Huck dealt with each situation he was unexpectedly thrown into with such cleverness. Every time he arrived at a community, which was always very different from the last community, he was able to come up with a meticulous background story and identity – how the hell does a nearly-uneducated boy come up with such ideas on the spur of the moment?
Finally, the friendship between Huck and Jim is very particular. On the one hand, their relationship is limited by their strained situation (both being on the runaway). However, the fact that they each rely on each other’s company and see the benefits that the other has to bring enables them to develop an amicable and respectful attitude towards each other.
The prose was beautiful. Twain has a particular flair in his writing, and it was spot-on in this book. He approached each character with his distinctive dialect, according to his background and how he had been brought up. Huck, the protagonist, had a literate yet rebellious kind of language (if that makes sense) due to his tumultuous childhood and unable to fit into any society he was brought up in. Jim, the runaway ‘nigger’ (that’s how he is called in the book, as that is how he was addressed by everyone else) had an even more enhanced dialect, which made it harder to read.
If you have read my “Reading Facets” post where I talk about reasons why I read, you might know that I read this novel mainly for the purpose for educating myself on a classic. This kind of reading does and has never come easy to me because a) English is my 3rd language (though ever since I became fluent in it I have thought and dreamed in English) and b) I am simply not used to these kind of books. However, despite that, with the aid of the internet and meticulous reading, it was overall a really good and particular read.
Who would I recommend it to?
I know that most of you handle English better, but I also know that many of you read for the pleasure of it. And that might mean reading other YA fiction or sci-fi novels that are topping the New York’s best-sellers list. But if you haven’t read this book, it’s a classic that you must read at some time. The dialect, moral implications and the oh so grand adventures will take your mind to a maze-like ventures alongside Huck and Jim.