Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn
In 1884, Mark Twain wrote one of the most controversial andremembered novels in the world of literature, The Adventures ofHuckleberry Finn. Mark Twain was the pseudonym of SamuelLanghorne Clemens. He was born in Florida, Missouri, Nov. 30,1835. Twain was one of six children. This contributed to hisfamily being poor. Twain often had to find inexpensive forms ofentertainment. Twain made Huckleberry Finn represent himfictionally in this book. Huck did the same typical boy things asTwain. ^Now, we’ll start this band of robbers and call it…” wasone of the things Huck said (Twain 9). When Twain was four yearsold, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a small town on thewest bank of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River and thetowns along it were used as the setting in The Adventures ofHuckleberry Finn. “We judged that three nights more would fetchus to Cairo, at the bottom of Illinois, where the Ohio River comesin^^ (Twain 106). Huck and Jim were trying to reach a town namedCairo. It was located in a free state, Ohio. Cairo was just oneof the many towns Twain referred to in this novel. Twain evenused familiar dialects in his novel. He stated at the beginningof the novel, “the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form ofthe backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary Pike Countydialect… are used to wit…” (Twain 1). In this book, as theytraveled down the Mississippi River, the values of Huck and Jimwere contrasted against those of the people living in the southernUnited States. Huck (the narrator and one of the main characters)and Jim(another main character) were both trying to reach freedom.
Twain based this book on things that were happening during this time inhis life. Huck was introduced without a father in his life. Twain’sfather had died when he was about Huck’s age in the book. Twainportrayed religion and the morals of the southern society with satire.
“The men took their guns [to church] … and kept them between theirknees…^ (Twain 142) was just one example. In the time of Twain’slife that he wrote this novel, the Civil War had just ended. The warhad tested society’s morals. The issue of slavery was important toTwain which was the reason morals were portrayed in this way.
The freedom and peacefulness of the river soon gave way to the