The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Review)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Wisehouse Classics Edition)The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can see now why this is so often a required read in school. This style of writing is often hard to find and it is rich with descriptions that leap off the page.

My favorite part of this was the dialogue. Say what you wish about the “n-word,” but the truth is that it was commonly used in the south. I, personally, don’t approve of the word, but I cannot deny it was a part of history, especially during the time of slavery when this novel takes place.

What I loved about the dialogue was I could hear the characters. Huck sounded different from Pap and Jim. The words were thick with Southern accents instead of written in plain English, and it was done well. Writing accents isn’t for everyone and can sometimes come across as trying too hard, but you can tell Twain heard these slang terms and thick accents. He wrote the words how they sound not how they should be spelt and it is what makes this “classic” special.

I’m usually remiss about writing reviews for books I am assigned to read, especially if I’ve had to discuss it at length. Honestly, much of what I’m required to read is not to my personal taste, but Huck Finn is different. Even though I read and discussed this book in class for 3 weeks, I enjoyed reading it. Picking it apart and analyzing it was more fun than an assignment.

There were some really funny moments, like when Huck disguised himself (poorly) as a girl, and the lessons or messages underneath the story are still relevant today.

Slavery is no longer legal, but the relationship between races is still a topic being discussed today with schools named after Confederate soldiers being renamed and historic statues being removed across the country.

Twain’s message is simple and beautiful: We are all human beings.

In the beginning, Huck views Jim only as a slave. As they travel together, the relationship changes. Jim is no longer looked at or treated differently because of the color of his skin and Jim takes care of Huck in a fatherly way. If you look at it closely, it is a beautiful father-son relationship between two that aren’t related. Huck and Jim’s connection is more of a highlight than Huck’s actual adventure down the Mississippi River on a raft.

I think everyone should read this book at least once during their lifetime to get a glance at life along the Mississippi River before the Civil War.

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