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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Understand the Sense of the Novel

 Little Boy Reading

It is true that “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain is not just a book for children even though the main character is a young boy. This novel is actually a complicated masterpiece with the deep and important sense as well as the previously analyzed book. While describing adventures of a pure and inexperienced boy, Mark Twain explains lots of controversial and grave issues of the world, such as inequality between people, dark sides of life, racism and other problems of America of those times. In order to discover all these things, it is not enough to read the text.

You should know the background behind its creation and analyze the characters from different points of view. That is why we have compiled the most significant points about this book and the history of its writing below. It is a good sample for writing your essay.

The Author’s Inspiration

Mark Twain spent his young years in the town on the Mississippi River, Hannibal. He worked as a riverboat pilot after his father’s death. He spent a lot of his time on the river and this life inspired him to write many episodes of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Then, Mark Twain even published an edition of funny situations which happened with him on the river. Also, the young writer witnessed of many cases of racial discrimination which was a usual thing in America.

Once, he saw how several white people killed the black slave because he tried to escape. Moreover, one of his fellows was murdered, because he helped slaves to flee. It affected Mark Twain’s mind greatly and he became an active opponent of racism. This novel is a sequel to the story about Tom Sawyer. The author was inspired by the huge success and popularity of the first book and then created a more serious thing.

Anti-Racist Motifs


The central place in the novel is taken by the anti-racist theories and motifs. This concept is the most important point which Mark Twain tries to demonstrate to the audience. It seems obvious nowadays. However, it is essential to understand that the author created his masterpiece at the time of slavery and racial discrimination in all spheres of human life. It was especially spread in the South. Mark Twain witnessed awful attitude to African people in his childhood, and some of these situations were transferred to his book. The character that represents all black slaves is Jim. The writer shows that he is fully under control of the white society and the only man who helps him is Huckleberry, who is still pure and has much stronger moral ideas than any adults.

Heck’s Youth and Openness

An interesting fact is that Mark Twain chooses a child as the main hero again, after his first novel about Tom Sawyer reaches success. In addition, the author uses light and enjoyable tone of writing even though he is reflecting on serious and grave topics. He makes his protagonist open-minded and smart. Huck makes logical and quick decisions while having no education and sometimes knows much more than adults around him. He sees the lie, hypocrisy, and injustice. In addition, despite being a child, this boy is very brave and follows his principles. He perfectly understands that helping a slave to escape is a great crime, and he may be punished or even killed. Heck sometimes has thoughts about betraying Jim until he understands that he is the only friend the escaper has.

African Folk and Motifs

African Folk

It is important to mention that Jim tells several legends and tales while trying to explain a phenomenon he does not understand. He demonstrates his worldview and ethnic identity in this way. Huck finds them funny, but then he understands that such an attitude to the world makes sense, and Jim knows much useful information. It is true that Mark Twain was one of the first writers who paid attention to African beliefs and comprehension of things which happen around.

The Symbol of the Mississippi River

The symbol of the river takes a significant place in the novel. It is the way how Mark Twain shows the life. For Huck and Jim, it is the freedom as they go to the west where both of them can live freely. Different natural difficulties which appear on their road demonstrate that it is not an easy task to become independent from social restrictions and boundaries. For example, they miss the route to the Ohio River which may be a quicker way to reach the main goal of their journey. Dozens of challenges wait for them in towns on the river banks, covered in fog. It is easy to show the parallels between the river and our human life. The road to any important goal is complicated and lots of difficulties wait for us.

Summing up, this novel is not only enjoyable to read. It also has a deep and significant sense which is important even after many since this book was written. This masterpiece takes a dominating place among the best stories in the American literature. There should be a lot more things to research and analyze in it. You should be attentive while reading this story and understand that sometimes the great ideas and concepts are hidden inside the enjoyable and easy text.

In the next post, we will present the analysis of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde.


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