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Banned Book Week: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)


I remember looking at my freshman reading list in high school and dreading having to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I knew the story from after school TV movies and cartoons and the thought of having to read the whole book seemed like a daunting and futile task. Boy was I wrong! Frankly, this book seriously rocks.
Much controversy has surrounded this book in regards to what is sometimes perceived as a derogatory use of racial terms, but in my estimation, Twain was simply writing about his own experiences growing up in the South in the first half of the 19th century. He used terms and language that were in regular use during those times for realism and authenticity.
Published in 1885 and set in the years before the Civil War, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered to be a sequel to Twain's earlier Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), but stands on its own merits as an individual novel. As the title suggests, the book features incredibly descriptive vignettes of a runaway boy named Huckleberry as he escapes from an abusive father by rafting down the Mississippi with a runaway slave named Jim.
Combining serious social commentary with biting satire and sincere humor, Twain wrote a book of exquisite depth veiled and overshadowed by its comical characters and larger than life situations. A true literary classic in every sense of the word, Huckleberry Finn transcends time through Twain's genius of character development and humor. The characters Twain depicts could be transplanted into a contemporary novel and still be believable. The times have changed since Huckleberry Finn was written, but people haven't, and Twain's marvelous characters describe humanity in all its ugliness, but with a contagious morality that fulfills and enlightens till hope is regained.
So in honor of Banned Books Week, why not pick up a copy of this remarkable novel and transport yourself back in time to a place where friendship meant something and a raft drifting down the Mississippi meant freedom and so much more.

Submitted by Dan@Central

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Comments (1)

Jason Luthor:

I’ve read `The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ so many times, and yet I never tire of Twain’s storytelling. Each time I read it, I enjoy it all the more. The story of Huckleberry Finn and his friends is simple enough, but has loads of undercurrents. It depicts the various facets of human nature which ring true even after a hundred years of its first publication. Along with all the human characters in the novel, did you know that the Mississippi River plays a pivotal role in the actions of the story? I learnt of some fascinating information at Shmoop that made me realize the importance of this novel in literary history. It’s a pity, really, that some people fail to see the authenticity of the novel.


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