The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain?s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about a young boy?s coming of age in the Missouri of the mid-1800?s. The main character, Huckleberry Finn, spends much time in the novel floating down the Mississippi River on a raft with a runaway slave named Jim. Before he does so, however, Huck spends some time in the fictional town of St. Petersburg where a number of people attempt to influence him.

Before the novel begins, Huck Finn has led a life of absolute freedom. His drunken and often missing father has never paid much attention to him; his mother is dead and so, when the novel begins, Huck is not used to following any rules. The book?s opening finds Huck living with the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson. Both women are fairly old and are really somewhat incapable of raising a rebellious boy like Huck Finn. Nevertheless, they attempt to make Huck into what they believe will be a better boy. Specifically, they attempt, as Huck says, to “sivilize” him. This process includes making Huck go to school, teaching him various religious facts, and making him act in a way that the women find socially acceptable.

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