The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Satirizing the Southern Antebellum Society

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
‘Well nosiree, warn’t that der ol’ Huck Finn travelling abouts with a nigger? Dat aint no way possible; dat gotta be the darnest thing a body ever heard!’ Au contraire, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a novel written by Mark Twain in the 19th century (which was first published in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885), we follow a young Huckleberry Finn alongside his trusted companion, Jim, who just so happens to be an African American slave! This book was commonly named among the Great American Novels and is among the first in major American literature to be written in the vernacular- that is entirely in dialect- characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by the main protagonist, Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, a good friend of Tom Sawyer, and is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The book satirizes a Southern antebellum society, focusing on their attitudes, particularly racism. Before reading the book one must be prepared to hold witness to a frequent use of the “N”-word, although the novel is clearly anti-racist and anti-slavery. Twain uses the racial talk to portray the stupidity of racism and the people who espouse it. Huck can be seen as a young, innocent victim who has been taught to be racist; however, ultimately he overcomes this. We meet Huckleberry Finn, a boy who was taken in by a town widow, Widow Douglas, and her sister, Miss Watson, who intend to teach him religion and proper manners. Huck doesn’t always do what adults tell him because he thinks for himself and weighs what is best for him; however, he tolerates his guardians and goes to school and learns to read. He is soon kidnapped by his own father who is determined to claim Huck’s rights to $6,000 in treasure (which he discovered in the first novel). He begins to learn to enjoy the life with his father but soon loses interest, so he fakes his own death to escape. Eventually, Huck meets up with...
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