Reviews of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the (1884)
Review by branko (2004-04-20)
On the one hand, a thrilling adventure about a boy and a man floating down the Mississippi on a raft.
On the other hand a confusing story. Usually, you either grasp the underlying moral of the story, because the author wrote it in well, or you don't, because of bad writing. Here, the moral seemed to lean on a strong unity of vision, but I just did not get the vision. How can Huckleberry Finn spend months with Jim, and still see him as anything else than human?
Review by Tamarah (2003-04-14)
"Huckleberry Finn" is most commonly mistaken as the sequel to "Tom Sawyer," and unjustly regarded as another children's book. In actuality, Twain's novel about Huck Finn is more of a snide social commentary on Southern life and attitudes that he witnessed in his day. A theme that Twain integrates in Huck and Jim's trip up the river, for example, is the struggle between civilization and "natural life." Huck is the embodiment of natural life with his uncivilized ways, as opposed to his Aunt who is civilized; she reads the Bible, dresses appropriately for society and heeds social customs such as slavery. Twain uses Huck to show how corrupt civilization had become, and how morally correct Huck was compared with his Aunt who tried to convince her nephew that slavery was right and that the slaves had no feelings and were no better than farm animals. Obviously she is wrong; Twain knows this and shows Jim's compassion for Huck throughout the novel so the reader has a personal sympathy for Jim - an emotion not allowed to slaves then.
It is important when reading this novel to comprehend Twain's motive for writing it. Some readers see only Jim's perspective, and so sees the book as perhaps 'one more book about the oppressive white man'; but if the reader looks into every character, they will see that Twain has portrayed the locals as superstitious, nervous, judgmental and more often than not, naive. One town falls into the traps of the King and his manipulative schemes to get money in order to "convert the pirates." Huck is threatened by his elders by the possibility of going to Hell if he should help Jim escape; fortunately Huck knows right from wrong, even if the entire town doesn't, and he 'risks' the flames to help his friend. There are many themes and vices in this novel, which go unnoticed by readers. This book is American history, and should be interpreted as such.
Review by Lane (2003-03-11)
The adventures of Huckleberry Finn is probably one of the most inspiring books ever written. Mark Twains usage of words is amazing. After I read this book, I wanted to be just like him and dreamt about being Huckleberry Finn(or Tom Sawyer) for months.